Wembanyamarama

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At a casual glance, KD seems kinda high to me and LeBron seems kinda low. I'd put them on the same basic tier.

Wemby kinda seems like his own category, but clearly #1 with a bullet in terms of trade value, right? Like, how much was it worth to the Spurs to hit lotto over PDX, Charlotte et al. and land Wemby over guys like Scoot, Miller et al.? A billion dollars? More?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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At a casual glance, KD seems kinda high to me and LeBron seems kinda low. I'd put them on the same basic tier.

Wemby kinda seems like his own category, but clearly #1 with a bullet in terms of trade value, right? Like, how much was it worth to the Spurs to hit lotto over PDX, Charlotte et al. and land Wemby over guys like Scoot, Miller et al.? A billion dollars? More?
Its a great question. I would not trade Wemby straight up for anyone named in these pages and if Presti called me tomorrow and offered Jalen Williams and SGA plus a few of those picks or NBA bodies he has just laying around his coffee table ashtray I would think about it and probably hang up.
 

Average Game James

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I’m not sure it’s hyperbolic to say Wembanyana has the highest ceiling of any player in NBA history. I’d be terrified of the injury risk with a 7’5” player, but I’m not sure I could realistically pull the trigger on a trade if I was the GM of the Spurs. Like, cap rules aside, I can’t come up with what is so compelling I can’t say no? If OKC offered SGA, Williams, and Chet plus picks? If Brad called and offered Tatum and Brown? What theoretical combination of current talent and youth is worth passing up on the upside case for Wemby?

80799
 

Euclis20

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I’m not sure it’s hyperbolic to say Wembanyana has the highest ceiling of any player in NBA history. I’d be terrified of the injury risk with a 7’5” player, but I’m not sure I could realistically pull the trigger on a trade if I was the GM of the Spurs. Like, cap rules aside, I can’t come up with what is so compelling I can’t say no? If OKC offered SGA, Williams, and Chet plus picks? If Brad called and offered Tatum and Brown? What theoretical combination of current talent and youth is worth passing up on the upside case for Wemby?
Yeah there's been some fun discussions over the season about who is more valuable than Wemby, and from the perspective of the other team, there are a few guys. Denver isn't trading Jokic, Milwaukee isn't trading Giannis. OKC, Boston, Dallas and Minnesota probably aren't trading SGA, Tatum, Luka and Edwards, but it gets interesting. Every other player in the league is absolutely being traded for Wemby.

That is a fun debate, but flip the discussion around, would the Spurs (starting basically from scratch) trade 20 year old Wemby for Jokic (28) or Giannis (29)? Absolutely no way, even if you think those guys are gonna be better for at least another 2-3 years. That's a boring discussion, because it's just so simple.
 

InstaFace

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I’m not sure it’s hyperbolic to say Wembanyana has the highest ceiling of any player in NBA history. I’d be terrified of the injury risk with a 7’5” player, but I’m not sure I could realistically pull the trigger on a trade if I was the GM of the Spurs. Like, cap rules aside, I can’t come up with what is so compelling I can’t say no? If OKC offered SGA, Williams, and Chet plus picks? If Brad called and offered Tatum and Brown? What theoretical combination of current talent and youth is worth passing up on the upside case for Wemby?

View attachment 80799
Jokic and Murray?

Leaving aside that Wemby is on a rookie contract for 4 years, and then a 30% max for the next 3-4.
 

Average Game James

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Yeah there's been some fun discussions over the season about who is more valuable than Wemby, and from the perspective of the other team, there are a few guys. Denver isn't trading Jokic, Milwaukee isn't trading Giannis. OKC, Boston, Dallas and Minnesota probably aren't trading SGA, Tatum, Luka and Edwards, but it gets interesting. Every other player in the league is absolutely being traded for Wemby.

That is a fun debate, but flip the discussion around, would the Spurs (starting basically from scratch) trade 20 year old Wemby for Jokic (28) or Giannis (29)? Absolutely no way, even if you think those guys are gonna be better for at least another 2-3 years. That's a boring discussion, because it's just so simple.
Maybe none of those trades would happen, but most of them should if the Spurs are offering. Objectively, the Bucks should say yes to Wemby for Giannis given where each player is in their career trajectory. If you think defense counts, he might be better than Luka already. I love Tatum, but if Wemby is the return I’ll buy him a first class ticket to SA and drive him to the airport. Ant is interesting because while his ceiling is lower than Wemby, it’s still MVP level and the injury risk is probably lower. Jokic, I probably say no because there is a legit shot to hang a couple more banners the next 2-3 years and his skillset likely ages well.

But yeah… that’s why I was asking the flip - what would make sense for the Spurs to say yes to? SGA, Williams, and Chet is the best I can come up with. Maybe there’s an iteration with whoever ends up with the Flagg pick next year. But never happening in a million years, so probably not worth spending much more time thinking about.
 

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At a casual glance, KD seems kinda high to me and LeBron seems kinda low. I'd put them on the same basic tier.

Wemby kinda seems like his own category, but clearly #1 with a bullet in terms of trade value, right? Like, how much was it worth to the Spurs to hit lotto over PDX, Charlotte et al. and land Wemby over guys like Scoot, Miller et al.? A billion dollars? More?
Hows this for a sports what if?
What if Portland wins last year’s lottery and ends up with Wemby?
They surely don’t trade Dame to Bucks.
Which likely means Jrue never gets to the Celtics.
Etc
 

Kliq

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I'd still be concerned about Wemby's build over the long haul and various injuries that can really hurt a guy that tall.

That being said, he is the best rookie in at least 30 years. I'd think you'd have to go back to rookie Shaq (23-14 with 3.5 blocks, shot 56% from the field) or David Robinson (24-12 with 4 bpg) to match Wemby, which is pretty good company.

I don't think he has the highest ceiling ever from any prospect--that is still Kareem, who was the greatest college player of all-time and was a top 3 player in the league during his rookie season and won 66 games and a title during his second season.
 

GoJeff!

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That being said, he is the best rookie in at least 30 years. I'd think you'd have to go back to rookie Shaq (23-14 with 3.5 blocks, shot 56% from the field) or David Robinson (24-12 with 4 bpg) to match Wemby, which is pretty good company.
And Robinson was much older, 24 versus 19.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'd still be concerned about Wemby's build over the long haul and various injuries that can really hurt a guy that tall.

That being said, he is the best rookie in at least 30 years. I'd think you'd have to go back to rookie Shaq (23-14 with 3.5 blocks, shot 56% from the field) or David Robinson (24-12 with 4 bpg) to match Wemby, which is pretty good company.

I don't think he has the highest ceiling ever from any prospect--that is still Kareem, who was the greatest college player of all-time and was a top 3 player in the league during his rookie season and won 66 games and a title during his second season.
Thing about Wemby is that literally the only concern I have about him is his health. If he stays healthy, he’ll be racking up DPOY and MVP awards soon.

I guess the other concern is the Spurs being able to find him a legit sidekick. They have tons of assets but you never know how draft/FA will work out. But I really want this guy in the playoffs starting next year.
 

Kliq

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And Robinson was much older, 24 versus 19.
Yeah Robinson has one of the most interesting NBA careers ever. I think he would have been a dominant NBA player from the jump if he entered the league two years earlier, before the mandatory naval service. He was so quick and athletic and coordinated, missing those early years hurt him because once his athleticism started to slip he wasn't nearly the kind of dynamic player.

Put him in today's NBA, where he would have shot threes, his quickness on the perimeter would be incredibly useful, his passing better optimized and his value as a lob threat almost unprecedented, and he'd be even better. Like a very in shape Joel Embiid.
 

CaptainLaddie

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Simmons was saying on his podcast that it's easy to forget that this, right now, is probably the worst Wemby will be for a very, very long time (usual caveats about staying healthy apply). He's transcendent.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Everyone seems to preface their Wemby take with “health?”….but has he ever had a serious injury? The guy was on a minutes restriction earlier this year from a minor ankle injury and played the entire NBA season relatively injury-free. Yes I get the height thing but this guy seems different and is so light on his feet unlike Ming and Sabonis….but even the lumbering guys aren’t auto-injuries. Mark Eaton played 82 games a year until his mid-30’s which is the equivalent to 39-40 now, Ilgauskas until his mid-30s, Smits until he was 33, etc. Most of the others did last that long primarily bc they weren’t very good basketball players.
 

Euclis20

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Everyone seems to preface their Wemby take with “health?”….but has he ever had a serious injury? The guy was on a minutes restriction earlier this year from a minor ankle injury and played the entire NBA season relatively injury-free. Yes I get the height thing but this guy seems different and is so light on his feet unlike Ming and Sabonis….but even the lumbering guys aren’t auto-injuries. Mark Eaton played 82 games a year until his mid-30’s which is the equivalent to 39-40 now, Ilgauskas until his mid-30s, Smits until he was 33, etc. Most of the others did last that long primarily bc they weren’t very good basketball players.
I don't think he's a major injury risk really (based on how he moves and his build), but when you're debating how high his ceiling is, that's the sort of thing that comes up. Part of what made Lebron the best prospect ever is that he had a legit NBA body when he was 16 years old and seemed like a very small injury risk. Obviously anyone can get hurt, but he came into the league measuring 6'8, 245, moving extremely well for his size. Wemby is going to put on some weight, and just can't claim to be as much of a sure thing to stay healthy as Lebron was.

Thing about Wemby is that literally the only concern I have about him is his health. If he stays healthy, he’ll be racking up DPOY and MVP awards soon.

I guess the other concern is the Spurs being able to find him a legit sidekick. They have tons of assets but you never know how draft/FA will work out. But I really want this guy in the playoffs starting next year.
The sidekick thing is a real concern. Lebron came into the league with a bang as well - he was 2nd team all-NBA by year two, second in MVP voting by year three, undisputed best player in the league by year 6. Still, in his first seven years in Cleveland, they didn't get seriously close to a title. One finals appearance ending in a sweep, and one other EC finals that they lost 4-2 (but might have been a sweep if Lebron hadn't hit a last second miracle shot). It's not hard to see why. Lebron didn't play next to a single all-NBA player in Cleveland, and only played with 2 pretty pedestrian all-stars (Ilgauskas in 2005, Mo Williams in 2009).

It does seem like a lock right now that Wemby will be a top 5 player (at least) for the next 10-15 years, but that absolutely doesn't mean that the Spurs are about to get a bunch of titles. In a hypothetical world in which we're packaging multiple players for Wemby, that's something to keep in mind (Jokic/Murray could easily end up better than Wemby plus whoever his best teammate his, as could SGA/Chet/Williams).
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't think he's a major injury risk really (based on how he moves and his build), but when you're debating how high his ceiling is, that's the sort of thing that comes up. Part of what made Lebron the best prospect ever is that he had a legit NBA body when he was 16 years old and seemed like a very small injury risk. Obviously anyone can get hurt, but he came into the league measuring 6'8, 245, moving extremely well for his size. Wemby is going to put on some weight, and just can't claim to be as much of a sure thing to stay healthy as Lebron was.



The sidekick thing is a real concern. Lebron came into the league with a bang as well - he was 2nd team all-NBA by year two, second in MVP voting by year three, undisputed best player in the league by year 6. Still, in his first seven years in Cleveland, they didn't get seriously close to a title. One finals appearance ending in a sweep, and one other EC finals that they lost 4-2 (but might have been a sweep if Lebron hadn't hit a last second miracle shot). It's not hard to see why. Lebron didn't play next to a single all-NBA player in Cleveland, and only played with 2 pretty pedestrian all-stars (Ilgauskas in 2005, Mo Williams in 2009).

It does seem like a lock right now that Wemby will be a top 5 player (at least) for the next 10-15 years, but that absolutely doesn't mean that the Spurs are about to get a bunch of titles. In a hypothetical world in which we're packaging multiple players for Wemby, that's something to keep in mind (Jokic/Murray could easily end up better than Wemby plus whoever his best teammate his, as could SGA/Chet/Williams).
I'm not saying that you're super bearish on Wemby, but this reads a bit like it.

To me, Wemby has a bit more elevated risk than a 6'8" player just because very tall dudes tend to have more occurrences of back and foot problems. That doesn't make it a red flag or anything, but we'd be saying the same thing about anyone that tall. But his game and athleticism should help, since he isn't so huge or plodding that he's really drives unreasonable force down on those areas. Honestly, I think that the majority of folks posting an "absent injuries" disclaimer are basically implying that that's all that'll hold this kid back. May as well post "absent plane crash" or some other disclaimer.

As far as a sidekick goes, sure. It's a very small list of guys who have won titles without legit all-stars around them, at least one. But from what we've seen, there's a non-zero chance that he's a top-3 player in year three. That's pretty remarkable for a kid his age.
 

Smokey Joe

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Everyone seems to preface their Wemby take with “health?”….but has he ever had a serious injury? The guy was on a minutes restriction earlier this year from a minor ankle injury and played the entire NBA season relatively injury-free. Yes I get the height thing but this guy seems different and is so light on his feet unlike Ming and Sabonis….but even the lumbering guys aren’t auto-injuries. Mark Eaton played 82 games a year until his mid-30’s which is the equivalent to 39-40 now, Ilgauskas until his mid-30s, Smits until he was 33, etc. Most of the others did last that long primarily bc they weren’t very good basketball players.
Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson say “Hi”
 

Euclis20

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I'm not saying that you're super bearish on Wemby, but this reads a bit like it.

To me, Wemby has a bit more elevated risk than a 6'8" player just because very tall dudes tend to have more occurrences of back and foot problems. That doesn't make it a red flag or anything, but we'd be saying the same thing about anyone that tall. But his game and athleticism should help, since he isn't so huge or plodding that he's really drives unreasonable force down on those areas. Honestly, I think that the majority of folks posting an "absent injuries" disclaimer are basically implying that that's all that'll hold this kid back. May as well post "absent plane crash" or some other disclaimer.

As far as a sidekick goes, sure. It's a very small list of guys who have won titles without legit all-stars around them, at least one. But from what we've seen, there's a non-zero chance that he's a top-3 player in year three. That's pretty remarkable for a kid his age.
This is a fair read, but I'm bearish only in the sense that I think the odds that he has a Lebron-like career are still pretty low. It's not hindsight to look back and say that we knew Lebron would avoid serious injury - that was one of the selling points on his historic potential. Even if Wemby is light on his feet and built in a way that makes him less like to get hurt than the likes of Yao and Sabonis, his legs are super long and it's just too easy to imagine someone falling into him. He looks like he'll always be a wiry sort of big man, but those guys can get hurt a lot too. Two easy comps are Durant and Porzingis. Those guys (at least when they were younger) weren't plodding, despite their size. Even if Wemby is less likely than the average 7'4 center to get hurt (and considering he's as quick as someone half a foot shorter, he probably is less of a risk), he's a higher risk than most in the 6'4-6'8 sweet spot of guys big enough to not get physically beaten down and quick/coordinated enough to avoid stress or accidental injury.
 

Kliq

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Embiid would be a more contemporary example of a huge player who has been undermined by injuries (while still being a hugely productive player). Zion as well. Guys with unique bodies are going to come with additional injury concerns, whether that is fair or not.
 

Smokey Joe

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Yao ming, Shawn Bradley…Porzingis?
You’re absolutely right, being really tall doesn’t mean that you are destined to have your career damaged by injuries, but I think that starting every discussion about Wemby’s future with “if he stays healthy” is justified.
 

Kliq

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Yao ming, Shawn Bradley…Porzingis?
You’re absolutely right, being really tall doesn’t mean that you are destined to have your career damaged by injuries, but I think that starting every discussion about Wemby’s future with “if he stays healthy” is justified.
It's also just as simple as Wemby seemingly having everything to be a megastar--the only thing that seemingly could slow him down are injuries, or mental health issues. We are not waiting on him to develop a jumper, or learn how to pass, or play defense. He feels like the total package from a skill perspective already.

It's rich HRB is going to question us on why Wemby's build would make us concerned about his potential for injury--after he spent more than a year talking down Chet Holmgren for being too skinny and likely injury prone, and baselessly speculating that he has Marfans.
 

The Social Chair

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I'd still be concerned about Wemby's build over the long haul and various injuries that can really hurt a guy that tall.

That being said, he is the best rookie in at least 30 years. I'd think you'd have to go back to rookie Shaq (23-14 with 3.5 blocks, shot 56% from the field) or David Robinson (24-12 with 4 bpg) to match Wemby, which is pretty good company.
Tim Duncan was first team All NBA as a rookie. However, the league was weak talent wise that year and he was 4 years older than Wemby.

Way too many Spurs on that shortlist.
 

Kliq

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Tim Duncan was first team All NBA as a rookie. However, the league was weak talent wise that year and he was 4 years older than Wemby.

Way too many Spurs on that shortlist.
That's fair for Duncan. Weak talent or not, being recognized as a Top 5 player is pretty ridiculous as a rookie. With Shaq and Robinson, they were unique physical entities, closer to Wemby, while Duncan was more of an elite version of a player we had seen often before.

In more recent times, rookie Blake Griffin was an incredible force. He missed his first year due to injury, but his Age 21 season he was 22-12 and one mind-blowing athletic play per night, and turned a comedically inept franchise into must-watch TV every night. There was always an element of danger to him though, like a high-wire act that would never last.
 

slamminsammya

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That's fair for Duncan. Weak talent or not, being recognized as a Top 5 player is pretty ridiculous as a rookie. With Shaq and Robinson, they were unique physical entities, closer to Wemby, while Duncan was more of an elite version of a player we had seen often before.

In more recent times, rookie Blake Griffin was an incredible force. He missed his first year due to injury, but his Age 21 season he was 22-12 and one mind-blowing athletic play per night, and turned a comedically inept franchise into must-watch TV every night. There was always an element of danger to him though, like a high-wire act that would never last.
Griffin's entertainment value was always substantially higher than his actual on court impact. His first season was appointment viewing though. I remember talking about his dunks each morning with friends.
 

Euclis20

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Tim Duncan was first team All NBA as a rookie. However, the league was weak talent wise that year and he was 4 years older than Wemby.

Way too many Spurs on that shortlist.
People seem to think this because he was famously the last real superstar to play 4 years in college, but Duncan was incredibly young for his experience. He was 21 as an NBA rookie (he turned 22 during the playoffs), just one year older than Wemby is now.
 

TripleOT

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There has been a lot of talk about possible injury to Wemby and Chet in a long NBA season. Wemby has played 70 of 80 games, at 29.6 mpg. After missing an entire season due to a freak summer injury, Chet has played all 80 games at 29.7 mpg.

With today’s year round training regimes, and with carefully doled out minutes, they both could avoid the injury issues that plagued a lot of bigs in the past.

Wemby will be on quadruple double watch for the foreseeable future if he can safely play 35 mpg. He plays offense with the skills of a player a foot shorter.
 

Kliq

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There has been a lot of talk about possible injury to Wemby and Chet in a long NBA season. Wemby has played 70 of 80 games, at 29.6 mpg. After missing an entire season due to a freak summer injury, Chet has played all 80 games at 29.7 mpg.

With today’s year round training regimes, and with carefully doled out minutes, they both could avoid the injury issues that plagued a lot of bigs in the past.

Wemby will be on quadruple double watch for the foreseeable future if he can safely play 35 mpg. He plays offense with the skills of a player a foot shorter.
While both players probably need to add a little more weight, I always like to point out that with a few exceptions, most of the great big men who have had incredible longevity have been really skinny guys. Kareem, KG, Parish, Dirk, Durant---a player like Duncan actually got skinnier as his career progressed. LeBron and Karl Malone are kind of the only guys with a lot of muscle mass who played forever. Shaq had a long career as well, but he was so heavy that didn't matter as much that he was slow/injured.
 

lovegtm

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While both players probably need to add a little more weight, I always like to point out that with a few exceptions, most of the great big men who have had incredible longevity have been really skinny guys. Kareem, KG, Parish, Dirk, Durant---a player like Duncan actually got skinnier as his career progressed. LeBron and Karl Malone are kind of the only guys with a lot of muscle mass who played forever. Shaq had a long career as well, but he was so heavy that didn't matter as much that he was slow/injured.
KP talked in his interview the other day about how he was lifting/bulking too much in Dallas, and he thought it hurt both his game and his health.
 

Ed Hillel

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There's been some comparisons to health with Wemby and some other bigs, but it's probably worth noting that many of those other bigs played a different style, particularly on offense. I do think he's going to be more susceptible to lower body injuries because he's skinny and tall, but he won't be banging around in the paint as much as your Greg Odens of the world.
 

HomeRunBaker

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KP talked in his interview the other day about how he was lifting/bulking too much in Dallas, and he thought it hurt both his game and his health.
Yeah not a fan of lean frame guys bulking up. Todays advanced training recognizes this for the most part so adding strength the way Holmgrem is doing would be what I’d expect from Wemby. People used to say same about KG when he entered league…..but you need to be lean to your bodies natural composition to best avoid injury and maintain mobility.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yeah not a fan of lean frame guys bulking up. Todays advanced training recognizes this for the most part so adding strength the way Holmgrem is doing would be what I’d expect from Wemby. People used to say same about KG when he entered league…..but you need to be lean to your bodies natural composition to best avoid injury and maintain mobility.
There are plenty of ways to train to get stronger without hypertrophy too. Olympic weightlifters do their best to avoid adding unnecessary bulk because it bumps them up to a higher weight class. On offense Wemby's basically a wing. He doesn't need to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.
 

lovegtm

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I'll admit do being dead wrong about Chet though. His body is obviously holding up just fine.
A lot of our intuitions about what makes a body "hold up" are too visual and don't obviously map to reality.

Guys like Gordon Hayward or Chandler Parsons don't look fragile or like longterm health risks--you'd design that body type if you were looking for a good longterm health bet. Then they suddenly break down all the time.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'll admit do being dead wrong about Chet though. His body is obviously holding up just fine.
Chet really developed both physically and his game once he got out of the college game. I went from hating him as a prospect to loving him as the ultimate frontcourt fit on a winning team since he doesn’t require the ball to be productive. He’ll only get better once they add some size next to him.
 

kfoss99

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I know MVP is nebulous, but if you had a draft of every NBA player, I'd have him as pick 2 behind Jokic. I don't think that makes him 2nd in the MVP race, however.

Now, for return on investment , he's clearly the most valuable, thanks to his rookie contract.
 

BigSoxFan

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I know MVP is nebulous, but if you had a draft of every NBA player, I'd have him as pick 2 behind Jokic. I don't think that makes him 2nd in the MVP race, however.

Now, for return on investment , he's clearly the most valuable, thanks to his rookie contract.
Given the 10 year age difference, I’m probably taking Wemby #1 in a league redraft.
 

InstaFace

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Victor Wembanyama, professional teammate:

On JJ Redick's podcast, he told a story about something that happened during preseason this year...

View: https://twitter.com/7PMinBrooklyn/status/1781012606553370700


“There was a Drake concert in Austin and he got asked to come up on stage because Drake was doing that with a bunch of NBA guys this offseason. And Wemby was like: Can my teammates come up on stage with me? Because they are going to be at the concert with me. And Drake’s camp was like: No. And he’s like: Then I don’t want to do it … What 19-year-old kid doesn’t want to go up on stage with Drake?”

And for good measure:

View: https://twitter.com/Josh810/status/1780980453924565183
 

Everetts Dinosaurs

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Damn do I love this dude. He won’t be everyone’s flavor off the court, but he’s my flavor.
I hope I one day get to discuss Sanderson with him