Leaving Lyon-Villeurbanne, Victor Wembanyama did not just disappoint a single team. Another thought indeed to have control over the file of the great French hope… Even now, the decision of the latter raises questions on the spot.
In the end, Victor Wembanyama only stayed a short season at ASVEL. One year from the 2023 draft, to which he should most certainly appear, the pivot has indeed decided to take a last bet. The one who has just been crowned champion of France set sail for the Metropolitan 92, whose colors he will wear in 2022-23. He will therefore not play the Euroleague, but will still be present on the international scene, since he will compete in the Eurocup.
However, before the big man decided to join Boulogne-Levallois, it was another team from the Betclic Elite league that seemed to hold the rope in this case: Paris Basketball. The club of the capital had even been announced as the favorite of the V, when its desires of departure had been revealed the first time. Former leader of the Timberwolves and now president of the team, David Kahn believed in it for a long time and remains perplexed to this day, as he explained in a press conference relayed by BFM TV:
The big wind from Wembanyama for Paris Basketball
There is an imposing 2m19 player who wanted to play with us but who, at the last minute, changed his mind. A year ago, we followed Wembanyama when we were in Pro B and he chose ASVEL. This year, me and coach Jean-Christophe Prat really thought he wanted to play for Paris Basketball. You would have to ask Victor Wembanyama directly what changed at the very last moment.
Having officiated for years in the NBA (although his work in Minnesota has often been singled out), Kahn could also have been a privileged interlocutor for the young Habs, who should be the first pick next June. There is therefore reason to be frustrated that such an opportunity has passed under the noses of the Parisians… However, the manager assures that he does not blame the Webz, explaining that it was already an honor that the latter showed interest in his squad:
I am flattered that such a player, after only four years of existence, had this desire to join us. We remain very active on recruitment for the next season. We have eight players who remain under contract, including Johann Begarin (Boston Celtics, editor’s note) and Ismaël Kamagate (Denver Nuggets, editor’s note), who should logically be with us next season. For now, we have to wait for the end of the NBA Summer League to find out if we can count on them or not, and thus see things more clearly.
It is true that Paris will have a lot of promising young shoots to develop next season, the named players not having left to join the big league immediately. They will in fact have all the time necessary to progress in France, before making the leap across the Atlantic. As for the pivot, he will be their opponent in 2022-23, and there is no doubt that the US scouts will be there to watch him. It will therefore be all the more the opportunity to shine in front of him.
It will ultimately not be on the side of Paris Basketball that Victor Wembanyama will put on the show next year, despite the hopes of the team from the capital. What does it matter for this one now, which still has other nuggets to develop in the months to come.