ESPN proposes a Chet Holmgren for Victor Wembanyama swap
The 2023 NBA draft is less than a month away, which means it’s almost time for Victor Wembanyama’s tenure with the San Antonio Spurs to officially begin.
The Spurs were the fortune winners of the draft lottery, as they won the Wembanyama sweepstakes. The French phenom has been touted as one of the greatest prospects in league history, with his hype accelerating over the last year.
The Spurs aren’t going to trade the No. 1 pick, but what type of packages would cause them to think about it? ESPN wrote about this thought exercise as they conjured up multiple hypothetical trade scenarios for other teams.
One of those teams included the Oklahoma City Thunder, who would part with Chet Holgrem and several first-round picks to land Wembanyama.
The No. 2 pick from the 2022 draft missed all of last season with a Lisfranc injury. Both players are comparable in size — skinny, seven-footers with ball-handling skills — but Wembanyama is a tier above Holmgren.
Trade details: Holmgren, 2023 No. 12 pick, 2024 Rockets first-rounder (top-four protected), 2025 76ers first-rounder (top-six protected), 2026 Clippers first-rounder
For the Thunder’s entry, ESPN writer Kevin Pelton wrote out the reasoning behind the trade for both teams. For OKC, it gives them a chance to add a better version of Holmgren with more cost control. For the Spurs, it gives them a treasure trove of draft picks — but Pelton notes they would initially ask for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams.
“Surely, if the Thunder called about trading for the No. 1 pick, the Spurs’ ask would include All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, All-Rookie first-team pick Jalen Williams and all eight extra first-round picks Oklahoma City has coming over the next four years…
Both young big men stand out for their ability to create shots off the dribble at their size, but Wembanyama’s superior size (he’s 7-foot-5 in shoes to Holmgren’s 7 feet and has an 8-foot wingspan as compared to Holmgren’s 7-6) and higher-usage offensive role portend greater NBA upside.
Add in the fact that Holmgren is a year closer to restricted free agency after missing his first NBA season because of a Lisfranc injury, and the Spurs would surely reject this offer, even if the Thunder threw in more draft picks from their stockpile. That’s a testament to how special Wembanyama is as a prospect.”
As the article mentioned, the Spurs likely say no to this deal. It’s not wild to compare Wembanyama to Holmgren, but age, contract control, talent, upside and –arguably — health side the former over the latter.
The full article can be read here.
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