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5 NBA teams that might tank next season for Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson

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LAS VEGAS — The primary weekend of Summer League was jam-packed with exciting games and glimpses of top players from the 2022 NBA draft. The No. 1 pick, Paolo Banchero, went head-to-head with No. 4 pick Keegan Murray in a sudden-death double-overtime thriller. No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren is settling in with the Oklahoma City Thunder, while No. 5 pick Jaden Ivey showcased some flashy passes and dunks within the open court.

“That is an incredible class and other people were sort of underestimating our class,” Banchero told Yahoo Sports. “There’s numerous really good players on this class, and I feel we’re all going to proceed to prove that.”

This draft class has numerous talent, however it’s nothing in comparison with what’s coming next yr with 7-foot-3 French point-forward Victor Wembanyama and G League Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson. Wembanyama is projected as the following generational-type talent to come back out of Europe, and Henderson was dominating the G League at just 17 years old last season.

“I feel what separates me from the remaining of the players in my draft class is I just played a complete season within the G League,” Henderson told Yahoo Sports. “I’m mainly a professional. I have been around pro settings and pro development and that is really helped prepare me for next yr.”

G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson is one in every of the highest prospects within the 2023 NBA draft who might be value tanking for this upcoming season. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2023 NBA draft continues to be a yr out, but these teams are making moves and positioning themselves early to tank for a top-five pick next season.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs had a successful draft, picking up young, talented players. Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley are all just 19 years old. They’ll pair with last yr’s No. 12 pick, Josh Primo, because the up-and-coming talent within the organization. Shortly after the draft, the Spurs traded Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. In return, they received a 2023 first-round pick (via Charlotte from Recent York, protected), 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap and 2027 first-round pick.

Murray averaged 21.1 points and 9.2 assists last season for the Spurs and numerous the offense will now fall on Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Tre Jones in a tricky Western Conference. The Murray trade made a really strong statement with potential plans to tank for Wembanyama, Henderson and Amen or Ausar Thompson — the 6-foot-7 twins playing for Extra time Elite.

Story continues

Utah Jazz

By the tip of the season, something had to vary throughout the Jazz organization. The on-court chemistry wasn’t working, and the Jazz did not capitalize on the All-Star talent they’d.

Head coach Quin Snyder decided to part ways with the team, and shortly after that, the Jazz traded Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets, receiving a 2023 first-round pick in return. The Jazz then traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves and received Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler (No. 22 pick in 2022 draft), 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap, 2027 first-round pick and 2029 first-round pick. The Jazz still have an All-Star in Donovan Mitchell, but he is not going to have much help during thee 2022-23 season and might resolve to shut it down early to extend the possibilities for a high draft pick.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers won only 25 games last season and picked up Benn Mathurin with the sixth pick within the draft. Indiana has good players (Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Myles Turner), but they’re missing that star, franchise-changing player to get them back within the playoffs. Mathurin is a very good player who likes to get to rim and is a high-volume shooter, but he’s just a bit of the larger picture. Wembanyama running the ground with Haliburton could be a dream, and he would bring much-needed size within the lane along with his 7-foot-9 wingspan and elite shot-blocking.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets traded Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks for Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss and Sterling Brown. Additionally they reached a buyout with John Wall and he’s headed to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets have numerous youth and can only be just a little bit higher this season after going 20-62 and ending last within the Western Conference in 2021-22. It’ll be one other frustrating season for Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Alperen Sengun (together with No. 3 pick Jabari Smith Jr.), but a tricky season shall be value it if the Rockets can land Wembanyama. Houston has been attempting to rebuild and make the playoffs for the reason that 2019-20 season.

Orlando Magic

Even after landing the No. 1 pick within the draft (Banchero), the Magic could still use one, final piece with a franchise-changing player. There is no pressure to win immediately, and this season shall be a very good benchmark for where Banchero suits into the system and a greater feel for the rotation within the backcourt with Markelle Fultz returning to the court alongside Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs. The Magic have only made the playoffs twice within the last 10 years and fans are itching to see the team make a resurgence, but so as to add rim protection with Wembanyama at 7-foot-3 and a secondary ball handler off the wing is value another yr of losses.

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