Victor Wembanyama is skipping the NBA Draft Combine next week, though he’s got a pretty good reason.
The French star and presumed No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft is still competing with Metropolitans 92. The team, which competes in the highest tier of French basketball, has its last regular season game set for May 16. The NBA Draft Combine runs from May 15-21 in Chicago.
Wembanyama is averaging 21.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for Metropolitans 92, which currently holds a 23-10 record. Only Monaco holds a better record in the league.
It’s unclear when Wembanyama will make his way to the United States ahead of the NBA Draft in June. Depending on how deep his team makes it in the postseason, it could run right up to the draft — which is set for June 22.
Victor’s French team (Mets 92) could have games all the way up to the NBA draft, depending how far they make it in the playoffs. NBA teams never expected him to be in Chicago for the draft lottery or combine. https://t.co/4QmukgvwXg
— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) May 9, 2023
Wembanyama has long been considered the best player in the draft class. Other top prospects, including Scoot Henderson, Amen and Ausar Thompson, Villanova’s Cam Whitmore and Alabama’s Brandon Miller are expected to participate in the combine.
The NBA Draft Combine list has been announced — 78 players in total: pic.twitter.com/g09J2ocKyr
— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) May 10, 2023
This season is the last that players will be allowed to actually skip the combine. Starting next summer, according to the new collective bargaining agreement that the league and the players’ association agreed to last month, all invited players have to attend and participate in the NBA Draft Combine in order to be eligible for the draft.
The NBA Draft lottery is set for May 16 in Chicago, too. The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs all have a 14% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the largest odds in the lottery. Whichever team actually lucks out in the lottery is all but certain of taking Wembanyama first come June.