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NBA Odds: Can Victor Wembanyama help deliver wins as a Rookie?

Most believe Wembanyama will develop into a superstar, but Spur’s fans should temper their expectations in year one

2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Before lucking (again) into the number one pick in a very important NBA Draft, it was worth asking why Gregg Popovich was hanging around. This is a Hall of Fame coach in a literal sense (he was inducted this summer), he had every right to hang it up and enjoy the rest of his life. After the Spurs won the lottery and selected Victor Wembanyama, Popovich seems rejuvenated and it’s hard to blame him. For the first time since Tim Duncan retired, the Spurs have a true franchise player and cornerstone with which to build around.

San Antonio Spurs (Over/Under 29.5 Wins)

Key Adds - Victor Wembanyama

Key Losses - Josh Richardson

A quick glance at the Spurs roster reveals they have one franchise player (Wemby), two young players with upside (Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell), about $40 million dollars in expiring contracts, and a surplus of draft picks due to some recent trades. It’s the true definition of a blank canvas.

Thankfully for San Antonio, the hardest part of their rebuild is now complete after drafting who they expect to be their next generational big man. The immediate priority is deciding how to use the resources available to them in order to build around their franchise player. If they decide Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson don’t fit around Wemby, they could easily trade them away for decent hauls. If they decide the best thing for Wemby is to surround him with veteran talent capable of winning, they could use their expiring contracts to bring some adults into the locker room. The possibilities are endless.

Because the Spurs have such a wide range of possible outcomes this season, I wouldn’t come within a nautical mile of their win total. A safer bet might be to place a wager on Wemby to win rookie of the year. Scoot Henderson may have better numbers but if the Spurs outperform their win total and hover around .500, elevating his team to victories could give Wembanyama the edge he needs to win Rookie of the Year.

PREDICTION - ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Under 36.5 Wins