Spurs say Victor Wembanyama won’t play in California Classic

Jun 28, 2023, 7:51 AM

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 22: Top Prospect Victor Wembanyama looks on prior to the first round of t...

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Fans that hoped to see first-overall pick Victor Wembanyama make his NBA Summer League debut during the California Classic in Sacramento next week, avert your eyes.

According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, the San Antonio Spurs announced on Wednesday that Wembanyama will not play in–nor will he travel to–Sacramento for the California Classic, which tips off on July 3rd.

Wembanyama will instead make his debut at Las Vegas Summer League on July 7th, where he will face Charlotte Hornets’ second-overall pick Brandon Miller.

Interestingly enough, Wembanyama will be sitting out of July 3rd’s game in Sacramento that will also take place against Miller and the Hornets in front of what is still expected to be a large crowd at Golden 1 Center.

During his NBA Draft media availability last week, Wembanyama told reporters that he intends to play in NBA Summer League, although he did not specify if his debut will come during Sacramento’s California Classic on July 3rd or in Las Vegas on July 7th.

“I’m in shape. I’m not too tired,” Wembanyama said. “Actually, I was in the best shape of the season during the playoffs. I’m going to be playing in Summer League.

Wembanyama, a 19-year-old big that can use his 7’2 frame in ways that the basketball world has only seen from the likes of Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, just finished his season for his team, Metropolitans 92, in the Betclic Élite league in France.

Over 34 appearances during the 2022-23 season, Wembanyama averaged 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 27 percent from three-point range.

Although Wembanyama will not be participating, plenty of NBA prospects will still be active for the California Classic, including Sacramento Kings’ recent draft picks Colby Jones and Jalen Slawson.

Action is set to tip off on Monday, July 3rd at 3:00 pm PST when the Miami Heat and 18th overall pick Jaime Jacquez Jr. take on 17th overall pick Jalen Hood-Schifino and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • Monday, July 3rd & Wednesday, July 5th – California Classic Summer League at Golden 1 Center
  • Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
  • Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD– Sacramento Kings training camp begins

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Spurs say Victor Wembanyama won’t play in California Classic