Four Western Conference teams could be set to make a play at Wembanyama, all of whom could view him as the final piece in talented young rosters.
2023 NBA Draft: 8 teams competing for Victor Wembanyama: Houston Rockets
The Rockets were fortunate enough to have Jabari Smith slip to them at number three in last month’s draft. With him, Jalen Green, and the likes of Alperun Sengun, Josh Christopher, and Usman Garuba, Houston have stockpiled an array of young talent in the wake of the James Harden era.
The passing of the torch was evident even before the draft, with big man Christian Wood traded to the Dallas Mavericks after averaging 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds across the 2021-22 season.
Houston finished the season with the league’s worst record at 20-62. Even with the addition of Smith, this team isn’t about to take a significant jump. Nor should they want to. Acquiring a potential superstar in Wembanyama could finalize the Rockets’ rebuild, allowing them to focus their full attention on winning games and returning to playoff action.
2023 NBA Draft: 8 teams competing for Victor Wembanyama: Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City is stacked with young talent and a haul of future draft assets. It’s left many wondering how long it will be until the franchise begins to prioritize winning again.
The Thunder could theoretically make a play for any player in the league, including their former MVP in Kevin Durant. It does, however, seem like general manager Sam Presti wants to finish this through the drafting method.
Securing Wembanyama could be the final step in Presti’s grand plan. They already have their future backcourt in place with Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, while they’ll hope they can form a scary frontcourt duo with Wembanyama and their number two overall pick Chet Holmgren.