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NBA exec thinks Wembanyama will be greatest defender ever

Victor Wembanyama continues to amaze with his versatility and agility for a man of his size. Besides leading the league in blocks per game (3.3), the Spurs phenom is 12th in steals (1.3) and eighth in deflections (3.0), numbers that hint at a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

However, the chances of him winning that award as a rookie are slim to none. In the modern NBA, where defense is a team concept, Wemby’s defensive impact is incumbent upon his teammates being more versatile on the perimeter where most of the scoring happens. This is precisely why Wembanyama is contesting only 8.7 shots per game in comparison to Brook Lopez (17.3) or Rudy Gobert (11.3), who benefit from point-of-attack defenders making their lives easier as rim protectors.

When Wemby is surrounded by better perimeter defenders, you’d better believe his defensive win shares, not even in the top 50 currently, will skyrocket to the upper echelon. Also, his ability to switch onto perimeter players is already on display, but unless he’s surrounded by players communicating better on that end, his advanced stats will continue to take a hit.

Regardless, Wembanyama’s individual impact is palpable and impossible to ignore. During a game against the Lakers last Friday, Wemby became the first player since Michael Jordan to register consecutive games with at least five blocks and steals, just a few weeks after registering a triple-double with blocks.




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