The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder have a bright future ahead of them, and that obviously has to do with their young personnel.
Two big pieces stand out among their plethora of young talent — no pun intended.
Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren will most likely be the centerpieces of their respective projects, which is why it was so exciting to see the two unicorns in the league going head-to-head in the preseason.
Following the Thunder’s narrow win over the Spurs, Wembanyama had some words of praise for his fellow rookie, recalling the time they squared off years ago and talking about his skills (via Josh Paredes and Legion Hoops).
Wemby on Chet:
“He's a really good player. I played against him once, a couple of years back. He's part of the great players of this generation.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) October 10, 2023
Holmgren and Wembanyama had already matched up while representing their respective nations’ youth teams, and they could go toe-to-toe for this year’s Rookie of the Year race.
Chet was the first prospect of his kind in recent years, and as dominant as he’s always been, there were some major concerns about his durability.
Those concerns only got more significant when he suffered a foot injury in the preseason that forced him to miss his entire rookie year.
The same goes for this year’s No. 1 pick, which is why the Spurs are likely to take things slowly with him and could even load-manage him early in his career.
That could give Holmgren a bit of an edge in the ROY race, as he’s bulked up and could be on the floor more often than not showcasing his unique set of skills.NEXT: Video Shows Ben Simmons' Impressive Move Against Lakers Superstar