It’s become commonplace now for former NBA players to get in front of a microphone or a camera and say wild things about today’s NBA and current players. This time it was Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway who raised eyebrows by criticizing the San Antonio Spurs number one overall pick, Victor Wembanyama. Hardaway recently compared him to Phoenix Suns center Bol Bol, who was just signed to a minimum contract after being waived by the Orlando Magic.
Needless to say, Hardaway has been criticized for his hot take. Meanwhile, Wembanyama has been touted as a generational prospect and the NBA’s next superstar. Although Bol and Wembanyama are both at least 7’2 and have perimeter skills, their talent levels are vastly different. Bol was taken in the second round by the Denver Nuggets but failed to carve out a role. He was then traded to the Magic, where he didn’t work out either.
Why Hardaway is wrong about Victor Wembanyama.
At 23, Bol is still intriguing as a player, but the eye test and stats tell conflicting stories. On the other hand, Wembanyama projects to be an above-average shooter who should be able to punish smaller opponents on the perimeter or in the paint.
He also has the potential to be a future Defensive Player of the Year thanks to his height, 8’0 wingspan, and mobility. He can switch onto guards and keep them in front of him, forcing them to pass or try their luck and shoot over him. Better yet, he has the instincts to be a game-changing rim protector who could almost single-handedly shut down the paint.
Bol obviously doesn’t have those skills and may not even be part of the Suns’ regular rotation depending on how things shake out. That makes Hardaway’s comments head-scratching, to say the least. Overall, Wembanyama will not have to wait to prove Hardaway and other doubters wrong, with the NBA’s preseason less than three months away.