The power ranking of the Victor Wembanyama contest, after the trade of Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell’s Utah Jazz trade entered a new team into the Victor Wembanyama draw on Thursday, so it’s high time to review which teams could tank for the 7-foot-3 Frenchman this season.

Wembanyama is considered a generational prospect, somewhere between LeBron James and Zion Williamson – with the skills of Giannis Antetokounmpo – and whenever one of them looms on the horizon, non-NBA competitors won’t back down. in front of nothing to finish with one of the three. worst records in the league and get a 14% shot on him. Mysterious hamstring draws, bizarre fourth-quarter lineups, late-season absences, undrafted rookies — it’s all on the table when a franchise-altering talent is on the horizon.

And the draft class does not fall dramatically behind Wembanyama. Scoot Henderson made waves as the 17-year-old point guard for the G League Ignite last season, and he’s hardly a consolation prize. The 6-foot-7 Thompson twins, Amen and Ausur, who now play in the OTE overtime league, round out a legitimate top four.

So where will they play in 2023? Let’s rank the eight most likely teams from worst to worst.

Victor Wembanyama of LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne in action during the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague match between Real Madrid and LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne at Wizink Center on March 17, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

8. New York Knicks

  • Ball handlers: Jalen Brunson • Derrick Rose • Immanuel Quickley

  • wings: RJ Barrett • Julius Randle • Evan Fournier • Cam Reddish • Quentin Grimes • Obi Toppin

  • Great: Mitchell Robinson • Isaiah Hartenstein • Jericho Sims

New York’s failed pursuit of Mitchell leaves them once again without a true star. Jalen Brunson’s $104 million addition to a team that won 37 games last season should theoretically make the Knicks a tournament play challenger, but building chemistry with players who have made it won’t be easy. traded all summer, and that’s after Julius Randle’s clash with the fans last season. Coach Tom Thibodeau’s hard-nosed approach has a habit of wearing itself out, and it wouldn’t take much for the Knicks to go into a tailspin.

7. Wizards of Washington

  • Ball handlers: Monte Morris • Delon Wright • Will Barton

  • wings: Bradley Beal • Deni Avdija • Corey Kispert • Kyle Kuzma • Rui Hachimura • Johnny Davis

  • Great: Kristaps Porzingis • Daniel Gafford • Taj Gibson

Bradley Beal is the best player on every potentially terrible team this season, but that hasn’t stopped the Wizards from winning 25-35 games over the past four years, and who’s to say he’ll be on the team? here the end of the season? Washington will take a chance on Beal and Kristaps Porzingis as the centerpieces of a team with a .500 cap in the hyper-competitive Eastern Conference, and they made some decent additions this offseason, but banking on a Porzingis in good health didn’t work for a few years either.

6. Orlando Magic

  • Ball handlers: Cole Anthony • Jalen Suggs • Markelle Fultz

  • wings: Paolo Banchero • Franz Wagner • Terrence Ross • Gary Harris • RJ Hampton • Chuma Okeke

  • Great: Wendell Carter Jr. • Jonathan Isaac • Mo Bamba

The Magic have a ton of young talent. Whether this talent can fuse into a competitive team remains to be seen. The franchise has been so bad for so long that it’s hard to learn how to win it all at once. A step forward would be an encouraging sign, especially if we know early on that this year’s first draft pick Paolo Banchero is a bona fide future superstar, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing to nab a higher draft. choose to associate it with his ascension. Sophomore coach Jamahl Mosley will encourage his team to compete from the jump, but once the reality of another lottery appearance sets in, the Magic are sure to put the brakes on.

5. Indiana Pacers

  • Ball handlers: Tyrese Haliburton • TJ McConnell • Andrew Nembhard

  • wings: Buddy Hield • Bennedict Mathurin • Chris Duarte • Oshae Brissett • Aaron Nesmith • Terry Taylor

  • Great: Myles Turner • Jalen Smith • Daniel Theis

The Pacers can fully embrace a tanking season if they complete the longtime trade of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner to the Los Angeles Lakers for draft picks. Otherwise, they might be a little too dashing to finish with one of the NBA’s three-worst records, especially if Tyrese Haliburton surges and Bennedict Mathurin hits as a rookie. Team owner Herb Simon never embraced tanking, but look what it did for the Dallas Mavericks when current Indiana coach Rick Carlisle finally quit a season to get Luka. Doncic.

4. Houston Rockets

  • Ball handlers: Kevin Porter Jr. • Trey Burke • TyTy Washington

  • wingsJalen Green, Jabari Smith, Jae’Sean Tate, Eric Gordon, Garrison Mathews, Tari Eason

  • Great: Alperen Sengun • Boban Marjanovic • Marquese Chriss

The Rockets have an exciting young core, headlined by Jalen Green, Jabari Smith and Alperen Sengun, but none of them have proven they can in the NBA, at least not yet. Eric Gordon, Boban Marjanovic and Trey Burke aren’t exactly veterans of an overperforming team either. Houston is probably two years and a coin away from making some noise, so why not pick another high lottery pick in the meantime?

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Ball handlers: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander • Theo Maledon • Ty Jerome

  • wings: Josh Giddey • Luguentz Dort • Kenrich Williams • Tre Mann • Jalen Williams • Aleksej Pokusevski • Aaron Wiggins

  • Great: Darius Bazley • Derrick Favors • Jaylin Williams

The Thunder looked set to compete this season, but the season-ending injury of No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren ended any outside chance they might have of chasing a spot in the qualifying tournament. This opens the door for Oklahoma City executive Sam Presti to chase more ping pong balls in the lottery. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey are a solid base, but the Thunder have shown a willingness to shut down their top players chasing losses, and there’s no reason they can’t throw in the towel again. .

2. Utah Jazz

  • Ball handlers: Mike Conley • Collin Sexton • Nickeil Alexander-Walker

  • wings: Jordan Clarkson • Malik Beasley • Bojan Bogdanovic • Talen Horton-Tucker • Stanley Johnson • Lauri Markkanen

  • Great: Jarred Vanderbilt • Walker Kessler • Udoka Azubuike

Jazz executive Danny Ainge made no attempt to secure certifiable talent from the upper echelon when he traded Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell for a pair of selection-centric packages. He wants to lose this season, and he will get his wish. Don’t be surprised if Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic are also knocked out, all in an effort to accelerate the rebuild with generational talent not seen in Utah since the 1990s.

1. San Antonio Spurs

  • Ball handlers: Tre Jones • Joshua Primo • Blake Wesley

  • wings: Keldon Johnson • Devin Vassell • Josh Richardson • Doug McDermott • Jeremy Sochan • Malaki Branham

  • Great: Jakob Poeltl • Zach Collins • Gorgui Dieng

Spurs won 34 games last season and traded their best player, Dejounte Murray, for draft picks over the summer, leaving 22-year-old former second-round pick Tre Jones as the main handler. alleged ball of the team. It’s worrying. Keldon Johnson has shown flashes of tremendous potential, but he’ll have to hit his ceiling for this team to win 25 games. Gregg Popovich drove the San Antonio chariot to the Tim Duncan lottery in his first year as a coach, and what a career ending it would be to deliver Wembanyama.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Do you have any advice? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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