It’s the big night. If it’s no secret, the future of Victor Wembanyama is about to be sealed in the NBA, on the occasion of the draft, Thursday June 22 (on the night of Thursday to Friday, at 2 a.m. , Paris time). Unless there is an unlikely last-minute reversal, the Frenchman will be selected in first position, and will play next season at the San Antonio Spurs, a franchise well known to the French where Tony Parker and Boris Diaw have notably shone.
“Wemby”, as he is nicknamed across the Atlantic, is already known to all observers. An ultra-complete and talented basketball player, with extraordinary measurements, who, at only 19 years old, fascinates the world of basketball worldwide, which makes him the greatest hope of the discipline. Analysis of a phenomenon – qualified as” extraterrestrial ” by star LeBron James – from every angle, before he arrived in the NBA.
What is the draft?
It is the main gateway to the League for the best young talent from around the world. The majority are young stars from the American university championship (NCAA), others like Wembanyama, come from a foreign professional championship. All players on the planet are eligible provided they are under 22 years old.
What is its principle?
The NBA is a closed league made up of 30 franchises, with no relegation system. The draft was therefore created to prevent a weak team from stagnating at the bottom of the rankings – which would harm the show, and therefore the business. Thus the lowest ranked have more chance of getting the first choices, to further strengthen their team.
On the other hand, it is not automatically the last one who chooses first in order to avoid that a team does not voluntarily lose all its matches. The order is determined by a lottery that is played between the fourteen worst records of the season, those who failed to qualify for the finals.
Wembanyama, an obvious first choice
The San Antonio Spurs have therefore won the bet: Victor Wembanyama. While there wasn’t a first-choice debate this year, that’s not always the case. Indeed, throughout the season, club recruiters travel the world in search of nuggets. They then establish an order between the players according to their performance and therefore their value. Sometimes it doesn’t matter much between the first two or three players, and the draft can hold surprises.
But being number one in the draft is one thing, becoming a champion is another. Since 1980 only a third of them have touched this holy grail at least once.
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