NBA: Victor Wembanyama propels his club team to the semifinals in France with a 19-point effort
The NBA can wait! Expected top pick Victor Wembanyama propels his club team into the French semi-finals as he refuses to sit down and keep his 2m 4 body for next month’s draft
- Wembanyama has refused to sit for the draft amid his team’s playoff push
- The 19-year-old had 19 points and nine boards in a series-clinching victory Thursday
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Victor Wembanyama’s refusal to stay ahead of next month’s NBA Draft helped push the scheduled first-choice club team into the LNB Pro A semifinals in France.
The 19-year-old recorded 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocks as the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans defeated 92 Cholet 81-69 in Game 3 of their first round. They now face Wembanyama’s former team, ASVEL, in a best-of-five series.
That Wembanyama played well in a postseason-game is no surprise. The acclaimed 7-foot-4 prospect averaged 21.6 points per game in the French league this season.
What’s surprising is that Wembanyama is playing at all, rather than preserving his health for next month’s NBA Draft, when he’s sure to be picked first overall by the San Antonio Spurs.
Former college players preparing for the NBA have finished playing meaningful basketball, and are instead focused on private practices ahead of the June draft combine.
Wembanyama reacts during Boulogne-Levallois’ victory over Cholet in the French play-offs
Victor Wembanyama (R), the French power forward of Metropolitan 92, talks to a player of Cholet
NBA players have already taken notice of Wembanyama, which combines the size of a center with the speed and ball control of a guard.
‘He’s like one [NBA] 2K created player, any point guard who wants to be seven feet. Vibes of the cheat code type,” Stephen Curry told reporters from Wembanyama.
“The league is in real trouble when he comes in,” said Kevin Durant.
He’s got a complete game under his belt, but the truth is he still has to develop his exterior shots before he can say so.
Wembanyama made just 27.5 percent of his 3-point attempts this season while shooting 5.6 per game – a large sample size considering he makes less than a third of his shots from deep.
The good news is that Wembanyama made 82.8 percent of his free throws this season, which is a good indication that he is a born shooter with the potential to hit 3-pointers.
Either way, Wembanyama’s 56.1 percent clip inside the arc suggests he can be an efficient goalscorer at the next level with or without a three-point shot.
Metropolitan 92’s Frenchman Bilal Coulibaly is only 18, but is also likely to be knocked out in the first round
And Wembanyama isn’t the only Metropolitans 92 player on his way to the NBA.
Bilal Coulibaly, a 6-foot-6 winger with a 7-foot-1 wingspan has grown into a contributing role and is expected to be taken in the first round next month.
“He is by far the best full-back of his generation in Europe and one of the best in this year’s class,” he wrote. Stefanos Makris of NBADraft.Net of Coulibaly. Blessed with a great body and a great sense of the game, the French prospect has all the necessary tools to become an elite 3-and-D player, but it’s the potential that has shown itself at a lower level as secondary maker/shot maker wing that intrigues.
“That being said, for all the promise he’s shown, Coulibaly is still a questionable Spot Up shooter for now, who has a long way to go as a secondary ball handler and maker.”