Wembanyamarama

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No argument on his ceiling. What's more surprising to me is how good he is already. He's a top-20 player now, and he has 50ish games under his belt and just turned 20 a month ago.
Will be interesting to see how his body evolves over the years. Another scary proposition. There will be a time coming where he’ll basically be able to do whatever he wants on the court.
 

InstaFace

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Basically putting up similar stats as Duncan’s rookie year except more 3’s, steals, and blocks. Get this dude a supporting cast.
My sense is that San Antonio's strategy is to tank this season and get another high-lottery pick to pair with him, hoping to land another high-ceiling star. They can use cap space and put together a contender pretty quickly from there. The rest of the league just has to hope that they end up picking like 6th or 7th, and don't get an impact player out of it.

I'm sure Pop knows what bad habits can emerge from Wemby's teammates being shit (he probably saw it with Young Duncan, frankly), and is focusing on that in practice and conversation. I haven't watched every Wemby game, but I've watched a fair amount and really haven't seen him take "whatever, fuck it" 3s, throw the ball away on bad passes, bad decisions on transition, dribbling into traffic, or other stuff we might assume that "my teammates suck, I'll do it all myself" would create. He seems pretty disciplined about trying to make the right play, even if the likes of Sochan largely can't pass or shoot their way out of a wet paper bag.
 

BigSoxFan

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My sense is that San Antonio's strategy is to tank this season and get another high-lottery pick to pair with him, hoping to land another high-ceiling star. They can use cap space and put together a contender pretty quickly from there. The rest of the league just has to hope that they end up picking like 6th or 7th, and don't get an impact player out of it.

I'm sure Pop knows what bad habits can emerge from Wemby's teammates being shit (he probably saw it with Young Duncan, frankly), and is focusing on that in practice and conversation. I haven't watched every Wemby game, but I've watched a fair amount and really haven't seen him take "whatever, fuck it" 3s, throw the ball away on bad passes, bad decisions on transition, dribbling into traffic, or other stuff we might assume that "my teammates suck, I'll do it all myself" would create. He seems pretty disciplined about trying to make the right play, even if the likes of Sochan largely can't pass or shoot their way out of a wet paper bag.
Yeah, they definitely are fine with another high pick. Too bad for them that this draft doesn’t look that good from an elite talent standpoint although who knows. Interesting that 3 of the top 10 or so guys are fellow French countrymen. They also might get Toronto’s pick (top 6 protected) and next year begins the stretch where they control Atlanta’s draft due to the Dejounte Murray trade. With all this draft capital and cap space, they’re in a very good spot.
 

Kliq

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Yeah I feel extra bad for all the lousy teams this year because this upcoming draft appears to suck. Zero hype for any of the prospects, and nobody has any idea who is going to go #1. It's brutal.
 

BaseballJones

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Just watched his highlights from last night. It's absolutely incredible what this guy can do. Caught the ball on the wing. Jab step, drive with the left hand into the lane. Elevated and just threw it down right over a seven footer. Drills a three, no problem. Keeps the ball high when he gets offensive rebounds so nobody can do anything. Blocks shots from all over the floor. It's absolutely nuts.
 

BigSoxFan

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Yeah I feel extra bad for all the lousy teams this year because this upcoming draft appears to suck. Zero hype for any of the prospects, and nobody has any idea who is going to go #1. It's brutal.
Top 3 guys per Tankathon are all raw foreign prospects who aren’t likely to make an immediate impact. I watched some YouTube highlights and came away kind of unimpressed. Then, you have a bunch of bricklayers in college and G League. I’m sure there’s a future all-star in this group but scouts are going to have to earn their money figuring out who.
 

lovegtm

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Top 3 guys per Tankathon are all raw foreign prospects who aren’t likely to make an immediate impact. I watched some YouTube highlights and came away kind of unimpressed. Then, you have a bunch of bricklayers in college and G League. I’m sure there’s a future all-star in this group but scouts are going to have to earn their money figuring out who.
Yup, someone always fixes his shot and looks great in hindsight, but anyone who says they knew who that would be is usually lying.
 

coremiller

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Basically putting up similar stats as Duncan’s rookie year except more 3’s, steals, and blocks. Get this dude a supporting cast.
Duncan also played four years in college. Wemby just turned 20 and is two years younger than Duncan was in his rookie year.
 

Justthetippett

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Aug 9, 2015
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Yeah I feel extra bad for all the lousy teams this year because this upcoming draft appears to suck. Zero hype for any of the prospects, and nobody has any idea who is going to go #1. It's brutal.
Don't feel bad for the Spurs though. They deserve a #1 pick in non-generational prospect draft, if only for variety.

As mentioned above, the Spurs have to get a ball handler/distributor. I would focus on the vet market more than a rookie (can still do the latter but that can't be the only approach). A reasonable overpay to a vet will be worth it.
 

Auger34

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https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/2024-nba-mock-draft-french-star-alex-sarr-goes-no-1-kentucky-has-two-players-in-top-four/

They have the Spurs getting Reed Sheppard with the #2 pick. 6'3" guard who is shooting 53.7% from three this year. No clue if he can play at the NBA level but putting an absolute knock-down three point shooter with Wemby probably isn't the worst idea.
FWIW, Jonathan Givony (who is definitely the best draft writer in the business) has Reed Sheppard as the #12 rated prospect.

I think it's pretty vital to draft another 3 point shooter and there are a few players who seem to fit what the Spurs need (Risacher, Ja'Kobe Walter, Cody Williams isn't a dead eye shooter but has good 3P% this year and I trust the pedigree being Jalen's younger bro).

I wouldn't be surprised if the Spurs don't necessarily go all-in next year either. They have an interesting roster but they really only have two surefire starters in Vassell and Wemby. The other pieces (Keldon Johnson, Sochan, Tre Jones, Zach Collins, Malakhi Branham) are all players you'd want to be more like 5-8 players in your rotation
 
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Jimbodandy

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FWIW, Jonathan Givony (who is definitely the best draft writer in the business) has Reed Sheppard as the #12 rated prospect.

I think it's pretty vital to draft another 3 point shooter and there are a few players who seem to fit what the Spurs need (Risacher, Ja'Kobe Walter, Cody Williams isn't a dead eye shooter but has good 3P% this year and I trust the pedigree being Jalen's younger bro).

I wouldn't be surprised if the Spurs don't necessarily go all-in next year either. They have an interesting roster but they really only have two surefire starters in Vassell and Wemby. The other pieces (Keldon Johnson, Sochan, Tre Jones, Zach Collins, Malakhi Branham) are all players you'd want to be more like 5-8 players in your rotation
This draft is hard to digest. So many G League kids and Internationals.

Gonna be a lot of baseless "I loved that kid in the 2024 draft" a few years from now.
 

InstaFace

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lovegtm

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He shouldn’t get any 3rd, 4th, or 5th place votes. That’s ridiculous
Yeah, it feels patronizing to put him anywhere near that high when he's good enough (top 20-30) as it is. He'll get a lot better, but he's not there yet.
 

slamminsammya

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I'll bet money he doesn't get any MVP votes for 4th or 5th.

whoever said his offense still isn't good should watch him sometime. actually, everyone should watch him it's extremely fun.
 

InstaFace

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I dunno guys, I watch him leave literally everyone else in the league absolutely helpless whenever he gets the barest modicum of service from his teammates, and I think "this is what watching a new-to-the-league Wilt must've felt like". Wilt was basically the first 7-footer who was also an athlete. With apologies to Shawn Bradley and particularly to our good friend Kristaps, Wemby is the first 7'3"+ guy who can shoot and move with agility. Replace Victor with a normal NBA center and these Spurs have like 2 wins; instead they have 13 and will probably finish the year with ~20. I don't think you have to cook the statistical books too hard to argue he's already as valuable to a team's success as all but a handful of players in the league. DARKO has him tied for 10th by DPM, on current trend he may finish the season top-5. I didn't say anybody would (or should) vote him first on their ballot - but a couple of 4ths or 5ths wouldn't surprise me if he keeps raising his game the way he has been (and avoids overuse injury).
 

slamminsammya

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I dunno guys, I watch him leave literally everyone else in the league absolutely helpless whenever he gets the barest modicum of service from his teammates, and I think "this is what watching a new-to-the-league Wilt must've felt like". Wilt was basically the first 7-footer who was also an athlete. With apologies to Shawn Bradley and particularly to our good friend Kristaps, Wemby is the first 7'3"+ guy who can shoot and move with agility. Replace Victor with a normal NBA center and these Spurs have like 2 wins; instead they have 13 and will probably finish the year with ~20. I don't think you have to cook the statistical books too hard to argue he's already as valuable to a team's success as all but a handful of players in the league. DARKO has him tied for 10th by DPM, on current trend he may finish the season top-5. I didn't say anybody would (or should) vote him first on their ballot - but a couple of 4ths or 5ths wouldn't surprise me if he keeps raising his game the way he has been (and avoids overuse injury).
You can imagine him getting 4th/5th votes over which of the following guys: Jokic, SGA, Giannis, Tatum, Doncic ?
 

SirPsychoSquints

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I dunno guys, I watch him leave literally everyone else in the league absolutely helpless whenever he gets the barest modicum of service from his teammates, and I think "this is what watching a new-to-the-league Wilt must've felt like". Wilt was basically the first 7-footer who was also an athlete. With apologies to Shawn Bradley and particularly to our good friend Kristaps, Wemby is the first 7'3"+ guy who can shoot and move with agility. Replace Victor with a normal NBA center and these Spurs have like 2 wins; instead they have 13 and will probably finish the year with ~20. I don't think you have to cook the statistical books too hard to argue he's already as valuable to a team's success as all but a handful of players in the league. DARKO has him tied for 10th by DPM, on current trend he may finish the season top-5. I didn't say anybody would (or should) vote him first on their ballot - but a couple of 4ths or 5ths wouldn't surprise me if he keeps raising his game the way he has been (and avoids overuse injury).
I'm no NBA expert, so I'm curious here. It looks like last year, 13 guys got any votes on the MVP ballot. In preceding years, it was 12, 15, 12, 12, 13, 11.

So is the question whether he's a top 12 player by the end of the year, or is the question whether some NBA writer will have a quirky ballot and put him on as top 5?

Edit: To expand a little, last year 4 guys were on almost every ballot (Embiid Jokic Giannis Tatum). Three guys were on around 1/4-1/3 of the ballots (Shai, Mitchell, Sabonis). Two guys got 1-2 4ths and 2-4 5ths (Doncic Curry), then four guys got 1-3 5ths (Butler Fox Brunson Morant).
https://ak-static.cms.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/46/2023/05/2022-23-Kia-NBA-Most-Valuable-Player-Voting-Results.pdf
 
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InstaFace

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I'm no NBA expert, so I'm curious here. It looks like last year, 13 guys got any votes on the MVP ballot. In preceding years, it was 12, 15, 12, 12, 13, 11.

So is the question whether he's a top 12 player by the end of the year, or is the question whether some NBA writer will have a quirky ballot and put him on as top 5?

Edit: To expand a little, last year 4 guys were on almost every ballot (Embiid Jokic Giannis Tatum). Three guys were on around 1/4-1/3 of the ballots (Shai, Mitchell, Sabonis). Two guys got 1-2 4ths and 2-4 5ths (Doncic Curry), then four guys got 1-3 5ths (Butler Fox Brunson Morant).
https://ak-static.cms.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/46/2023/05/2022-23-Kia-NBA-Most-Valuable-Player-Voting-Results.pdf
Yeah I'm imagining the latter scenario, where the voters have a consensus around who the top 3-4 are, and some will treat their 5th or even 4th vote as an opportunity to throw "their guy" a bone, or just view the pecking order (outside of the very top) a little differently than the consensus.

Put another way: You don't have to be a top-5 player in the league to get some 4th place votes, and don't have to be a top-10 player to get some 5ths.

Sammy, let's see if Wemby continues his tear for the year. If he continues this way to the end of the regular season (basically if he isn't shut down or injured), I'll take some action from you on a charity bet.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Yeah I'm imagining the latter scenario, where the voters have a consensus around who the top 3-4 are, and some will treat their 5th or even 4th vote as an opportunity to throw "their guy" a bone, or just view the pecking order (outside of the very top) a little differently than the consensus.

Put another way: You don't have to be a top-5 player in the league to get some 4th place votes, and don't have to be a top-10 player to get some 5ths.

Sammy, let's see if Wemby continues his tear for the year. If he continues this way to the end of the regular season (basically if he isn't shut down or injured), I'll take some action from you on a charity bet.
TIL there are 100 voters for NBA MVP.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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@InstaFace is right in that Wemby is producing with almost no real NBA talent around him.

We tend to get into the weeds about rotational or fringe bench players but the reality is that almost none of Wemby's teammates would crack a contending rotation and if they did, it would be for far less run.

Some of his output is coming when the other team is flat out encouraging Jones or Johnson or Vassell etc to beat them and Victor can still win versus overloaded defenses.

The Spurs will likely remedy that this summer. Then it really gets interesting.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I know I rate Wemby higher than most this season (I can make a case for 2nd Team All-NBA if I try hard, 3rd for sure) but he shouldn’t be receiving any MVP consideration even for 5th, that’s plain nuts with so many great candidates behind Jokic.
 

RorschachsMask

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This is the Spurs with Wemby, Tre Jones, and Vassell on the court. It drops to +2.1 when Tre sits, as he’s the only guy on the team who can consistently get Wemby the ball.

78998
 

HomeRunBaker

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VanVleet would have been such a perfect fit for this Spurs team and Wemby. Once he begins playing with actual playmakers this kid is going to take off! He’s already there….he is just being held back by their personnel pairings.
 

Kliq

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I'm very intrigued by a potential Trae Young/Wemby pairing. Spurs have the assets to get that move done and that team would be a ton of fun to watch.
 

the moops

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No doubt he is going to win some defensive players of the year, but I think the talk of him getting votes this year is a little premature. Gobert dragged some terrible defensive teammates in Utah to top 10 defenses pretty much singlehandedly. San Antonio has a bottom 10 defense this year
 

Euclis20

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Good point. My one other take, hopefully this one goes over a little better :)

He needs to play more minutes in order to get on my ballot. He has played almost 500 fewer minutes than Gobert
I'd like to think that matters (the best ability is availability!), but he's only about 115 minutes away from matching last year's winner, JJJ. Even in the context of what was happening last season (with stars missing so many games that the league changed the rules), JJJ winning DPOY while missing 19 games and finishing 147th in total minutes played was crazy.