The 2023 NBA season has officially ended for the Detroit Pistons, and they have punched their ticket for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. The Pistons now look to the NBA lottery selection on May 16th where they currently sit with the best odds to earn the number one pick.
Not your typical NBA lottery
This lottery means more than a typical lottery would and the reason is simple. As good as the talent is in this upcoming draft, there is one player miles ahead of the rest. Victor Wembanyama.
Victor Wembanyama is not your normal prospect. He is a 7’5 transcendent player. Wembanyama is taller than an average center, yet he plays the game like a shot creating wing.
He can create space for his jumper with an above average handle. That sentence alone should sell anyone when we are talking about a 7’5 center but his jump shot also happens to be very fluid and overseas he shot a very respectable 30% from three.
He is crafty on offense, with the ability to create for himself anywhere in the half court. He is explosive in the paint on both sides of the ball. Taller than most defenders that will be guarding him, he will excel in the post-game especially, and on defense will be one of the most ferocious shot blockers in the league from day one.
Wemby the cheat code
When I say this, I don’t say it lightly. Wembanyama is a cheat code. He is what you would create in a lab if you were trying to make the perfect basketball player. We have never seen anyone his size with the ability to handle and shoot the basketball the way he can. The best way I could describe him would be a 7’5 Kevin Durant.
Now what exactly could he do for the Pistons? He could come in day one as a top 20 player in the league. Fitting into an already young and talented team with the backcourt of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. With both Ivey and Cade on the floor, Wembanyama would see a great playmaking boost from both, and really see his offensive game open more than ever before.
Ivey and Cade have the potential offensively to be elite shot makers, forcing the defense to respect their ability to score. But the scariest part is that both Cade and Ivey have extreme playmaking ability. Both are high level passers and ball handlers, who will be able to create for themselves or Wembanyama.
We know what he would create offensively for the team but imagine the defensive ability if they land him. The smallest guy on the court for the Pistons would be 6’4. That leaves all the potential in the world to become an elite defensive team, anchored by an already top five shot blocker.
International stars in the NBA
Wembanyama will be coming from overseas where it is a lot more difficult to score the basketball, especially as a center. Once the ball touches the rim, it can be swatted away, a goaltending call in the NBA. There is also no defensive three-second violation in his current league, meaning defenders can camp out in the paint for as long as they please.
Many players from overseas including superstar guard Luka Doncic have come to the NBA to make the claim that scoring is easier, and they are correct. The same will be said from Wembanyama who will no longer have to worry about defenders living in the paint against him, or certain shots being altered due to a lenient goaltending policy compared to the NBA.
I know right now the talk of the town is the Detroit Lions and rightfully so, however come May 16th, if the Detroit Pistons do in fact earn the number one pick, they will be drafting the greatest prospect we have ever seen. A top 20 player the moment he’s selected and fit him in with two young stars already in the backcourt.
Having said all of that, I am here to tell you that if the Detroit Pistons do in fact earn the number one pick, they will make their first playoff appearance since 2019, this upcoming season. It won’t be long after until we are hanging banner number four in the rafters of Little Caesar’s Arena. That is how transcendent of a prospect I expect Victor Wembanyama to be.
Article written by Woodward Sports guest writer, Kyle Hoyt
Photo Credit: © Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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