I shall quote the relevant Woj audio from the above snippet, which, if proven to be true, should lead to plenty of high comedy, basketball ineptitude and self-sabotage to keep us all entertained during the marathon of an 82-game NBA regular season:
"One GM told me the other day, we are going to see a race to the bottom like we've never seen before in the NBA. Teams trying to put themselves in position to be able to draft [Victor] Wembanyama, or get the second pick and get Scott Henderson, who, in any other year, would be a No. 1 overall pick. But one team president said to me, 'Drafting Wembanyama might add as much as $500 million to the value of your franchise.'
"[...] Again, the level of tanking we may see in the NBA this year, as many teams who may try to get in position...I think it's going to impact the trade deadline. You may see more players available earlier in the season as teams just don't want to be in a position to be winning. [...] Victor Wembanyama is going to really impact the league before he even plays a minute in it."
Woj also explained how teams who are in contention to make it into the play-in tournament will be more willing to dump assets in an effort to improve their NBA Draft lottery odds.
But what I'm still tripping over is FIVE. HUNDRED. MILLION. DOLLARS. It makes sense. We saw LeBron James' impact on Cleveland's economy was when he played for the Cavs. Whichever lucky NBA franchise gets a chance at Wembanyama can expect a similar, seismic effect.
To answer the prompt in our main Twitter account's post: No, Victor Wembanyama is most definitely fucking not overrated.
Seriously, the NBA season gets really tiresome. We all know who the good teams are, more or less. I feel like we're all just holding our collective breath after a while, hoping the biggest superstars don't get injured before the games that truly matter tip off.
Load management folks are going to HATE this season, because it feels like legit championship contenders will be able to rest their stars more often than ever against bad teams who are intentionally trying to lose. But hey, would you rather see some try-hard, talent-deficient squad squeak their way into the postseason, only to get blown off the floor? Or would you rather see them completely dog it, get smashed by 40 points in February and rejoice that the more serious playoff teams will be fresher when it matters most?
Look, I know you're supposed to protect the integrity of the sport. You should always "try" to win. However, what the fuck have, for instance, the Oklahoma City Thunder been doing the past two seasons? What's their incentive to even try right now, especially with Chet Holmgren out for his entire rookie campaign? Sam Presti has been playing the longest of long games and may, at long last, cash in with Wembanyama.
I have my eye on OKC as one of the most blatant tankers. One organization whose culture was once beyond reproach is the Spurs. I believe San Antonio will come to its senses, and realize the opportunity to get Wembanyama is too good for Gregg Popovich to coach too hard. Wembanyama has ties to ex-Spurs Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, too.
After trading Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert away, though, no one is making their tanking attempt more obvious than the Utah Jazz. I'd personally hate to see Wembanyama go there. Weird market. Bereft of core talent. Gross. Vomit.
At least the Indiana Pacers have Tyrese Haliburton, and I guess Chris Duarte and Bennedict Mathurin give them some hope on the wing. Plugging in Wembanyama with all those guys could be fun.
My preferred Wembanyama destination is either Indy or Houston, and I'd lean the latter. The Rockets have Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and reigning No. 3 pick Jabari Smith Jr. as a solid foundational trio. They don't seem ready to contend just yet. Add Wembanyama to that mix following one more developmental year, and Houston becomes a PROBLEM for the rest of the NBA.
Again, $500 MILLION potentially added in franchise value. Get ready for a lotta this, folks…