Victor Wembanyama, top prospect in 2023 NBA draft, attends Detroit Pistons game in Paris

Detroit Free Press

Victor Wembanyama, the projected first overall pick of the 2023 NBA draft, is expected to sit courtside at the Detroit Pistons’ game against the Chicago Bulls in Paris on Thursday at 3 p.m., league sources told the Free Press.

Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4 (in shoes) French phenom who plays for Metropolitans 92 in France’s top pro league, LNB Pro A, was provided his seats by the NBA, and won’t attend in an official capacity with the Pistons or Bulls. Wembanyama, who turned 19 on Jan. 4, could be getting a glimpse of his future team Thursday.

The Pistons are 12-35, owners of the NBA’s second-worst record, and will be among the teams with the best odds to win the annual draft lottery. Each of the bottom three teams in the standings will have equal 14% odds to win the lottery in May. The draft is June 22.

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Wembanyama is averaging 21.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, two assists and 3.2 blocks while shooting 29.5% from 3 on 5.4 attempts per game. His unique blend of size, mobility and shooting touch has helped him become one of the best NBA prospects ever. Wembanyama would immediately raise the Pistons’ ceiling and give general manager Troy Weaver’s rebuild two clear star-caliber players, along with Cade Cunningham, the first overall selection in 2021.

The Pistons own the NBA’s 29th-ranked defense and would get a completely new look with Wembanyama waiting near the rim.

The Pistons already have a French player on the team in third-year point guard Killian Hayes, who grew up about 200 miles south of Paris in Cholet.

It’s currently unclear if Wembanyama’s plans to attend the game will be impacted by the ongoing pension protests taking place in Paris on Thursday.

READ MORE:Detroit Pistons’ Paris trip couldn’t come at a better time for France’s Killian Hayes

The Pistons game against the Bulls is the NBA’s 12th game all-time in Paris.

The Associated Press was first to report Wembanyama was expected to watch the game in person.

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