Wembanyama closes out French League finals with 22 points, loss; so what’s next?

NBA’s generational prospect will take a few days off before NBA Draft on Thursday

Boulogne-Levallois' Victor Wembanyama stands on the court during the playoffs of the Elite basketball match Boulogne-Levallois against Monaco at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, June 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) (Thibault Camus, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Victor Wembanyama closed out his French league career on Thursday with 22 points, as his Metropolitans 92 lost 92-85 to Monaco in Game 3 of the finals in Paris.

The teenage basketball phenom, who is expected to be the number one overall draft pick in the 2023 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, had seven rebounds and four blocks as he held his own against one of the most physical and experienced teams in Europe.

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“I feel like I’m closing part of my life, but for my loved ones too. It’s the end of one stage and the beginning of a new one. Everyone congratulated me for what I did this year and wished me good luck for the future. I’m prepared for the NBA, I have no worries,” Wembanyama said after the game, via Eurohoops and Be Basket.

Boulogne-Levallois' Victor Wembanyama (1) shoots in action during the playoffs of the Elite basketball match Boulogne-Levallois against Monaco at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, June 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Wembanyama next moves on to the NBA Draft, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. KSAT 12 will have a crew at the event. Wemby was recently one of 18 prospects chosen for the league’s “green room”, where he and up to ten of his closest people can sit at an individual table while waiting to hear his name called. The wait shouldn’t be long.

The San Antonio Spurs have all but said they’re selecting Wembanyama, previously sending their medical team to speak to him in France. They’ve done their diligence over the years in scouting and fully intend to make him the focal point of their next rebuild.

He will become the third number-one pick in the team’s history, joining hall-of-fame big men David Robinson and Tim Duncan, both of whom went on to win titles with the franchise. Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich and General Manager Brian Wright are scheduled to talk about the selection after the pick.

Once selected, Wembanyama will be available to play for the team’s summer league games, but the Spurs have not said whether he will play in the Sacramento event, which starts on July 3, or in the Las Vegas summer league, which starts July 7. Early reports indicate he may be with the team, but may not play. That, however, is subject to change.

To conclude the summer, Wemby has already said he intends to play in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, scheduled to begin Aug. 25. And that’s all before training camp with the Spurs and the beginning of the NBA season in late October.

“I didn’t think it was the last (time playing with the French team) because I wanted to win, but in the end it was special… But I’m reassured at the same time because I’ll be playing matches again in France with the national team,” he said.

The 7-foot-5 19-year-old has been described as one of the most unique prospects in NBA history, offering the athleticism of a guard with the height of a center. He’s shown a knack to be able to play both inside and shoot from a distance, all while being able to protect the rim and defend quicker players on the perimeter.

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About the Author:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.