Victor Wembanyama says he will play in NBA Summer League

Jun 21, 2023, 12:19 PM

LEVALLOIS-PERRET, FRANCE - APRIL 08: Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitans 92 looks on during the Betc...

(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Although earlier reports indicated that soon-to-be first-overall NBA Draft pick Victor Wembanyama would not participate in NBA Summer League action, the French phenom shot down those reports on Wednesday.

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 Wednesday during his NBA Draft media availability. “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.

While it’s currently unknown if Wembanyama plans on suiting up for the California Classic opener on July 3rd at Golden 1 Center, NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently voiced his support of the incoming top pick making his potential Summer League debut in Sacramento.

During an interview with the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds on June 5th, Silver said that the decision to play Wembanyama in the California Classic lies with the Spurs, adding that the California Classic is ‘a good thing’ for young talent.

“All summer leagues are NBA Summer Leagues,” Silver told The Associated Press on Sunday. “I’m very supportive of the Sacramento summer league. I remember when (Kings owner Vivek Ranadive) first came to the league and said this was something he wanted to do. I said, ‘As long as you have enough other teams who support it and players who want to play in it, it’s a good thing.’”

“What’s made the summer leagues so valuable are really the media rights more than the individuals who buy tickets there because it’s a very affordable experience,” Silver said. “So, the answer is, I want Victor to get playing court experience, and I think the team–assuming it’s San Antonio–should make decisions completely independent of any commercial implications from where he debuts.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to the Associated Press – June 5, 2023

YouTube video

Along with Wembanyama’s possible participation, the Charlotte Hornets (second-overall pick) will bring Alabama forward Brandon Miller or G-League standout Scoot Henderson to the Classic–but that’s not all.

Here is the full slate of teams that will be participating with their current first-round draft selections:

  • San Antonio (1st)
  • Charlotte (2nd, 27th)
  • Los Angeles (17th)
  • Miami (18th)
  • Golden State (19th)
  • Sacramento (24th)

You can buy tickets for the California Classic here.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Thursday, June 22– 2023 NBA Draft
  • Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • 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
  • Late September – Training camp begins

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