- End of the Bench
- NBA Teams Excited for Chance to Draft, then Trade Away, Victor Wembanyama
NBA Teams Excited for Chance to Draft, then Trade Away, Victor Wembanyama
Excited is an understatement.
The frenzy around number-one NBA prospect Victor Wembanyama has only increased with the start of the season, as numerous teams report their excitement to draft the potential franchise player and then trade him away several seasons later after wasting his potential.
“Drafting a superstar is a golden ticket for a franchise,” said Oklahoma Thunder GM Sam Presti while trading his first-born son for a pair of second-round picks. “It’s a sure path to several underwhelming seasons, a drawn-out contract negotiation, and eventually a sad and resigned trade that will have us restart the process all over again.”
The New Orleans Pelicans, who drafted Anthony Davis number one overall in 2012 only to trade him seven seasons later, said they have the history and experience necessary to absolutely throw away a generational talent.
“No organization is better equipped to help Wembanyama succeed on another team after we squandered our chance,” said Pelicans VP of Player Development Ken Cochner. “We’ll do whatever it takes: surround him with has-beens, make ill-advised trades that ruin our future, and even stick him behind washed-up veterans to ensure he receives the necessary playing time on whatever team is lucky enough to trade on our misfortune.”
Even teams with success drafting number-one picks are ready to adapt to the new normal.
“I may be an old dog, but I can learn at least one new trick,” said Spurs coach Greg Popovich. “We succeeded with David Robinson and Tim Duncan, but today’s game is different. Now you need to feud with your stars, take thinly veiled shots in the media, and openly blame a 21-year-old for an entire organization’s failures before dumping him somewhere else. It’ll be a learning period, but I’m confident we can waste a once-in-a-generation chance like any other franchise.”