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Wembanyama Wednesday: Stop comparing Bol and Wemby, start imagining them on the same team

Welcome to Wembanyama Wednesdays, our new recurring weekly post that will provide you with everything you need to know about Victor Wembanyama, the once-in-a-generation talent coming to an NBA team soon.

Victor Wembanyama is the best basketball prospect we’ve seen since LeBron James. Bol Bol is a former second-round pick. It’s apples and oranges.

But after a recent hot streak from Bol, in which his highlights looked like he was playing a totally different sport, it’s become in vogue to compare the two players. The latest to do as much is Paolo Banchero, who was just selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Banchero spoke to Michael Scotto about the comparisons (via HoopsHype):

“Everyone talks about the Victor dude from France,” Magic star Paolo Banchero told HoopsHype when asked who compares to Bol. “I’m not trying to compare them, but Bol’s 7-foot-2, shoots threes, brings it up the court, makes passes, and blocks shots. I feel like people kind of forget about him, but Bol’s a freak of nature.”

Banchero said he isn’t trying to compare the two players, and it’s sort of a fool’s errand to compare their numbers considering they play in drastically different leagues and they’re at different stages of their development.

But if everyone is making the comparisons, sure, let’s look at the numbers.

NAME
HT/WS
WT 
FG%
RIM%
3P%
FT%
REB%
AST%
PPP
BLK%

Wemby
7’4″ / 8’0″ 
229 lbs
50.3%
74.1%
31.0%
74.6%
17.9%
13.5%
1.12
10.5%

Bol
7’2″ / 7’8″
220 lbs
60.1%
81.6%
41.9%
76.7%
16.7%
5.5%
1.11
6.9%


(Note that all stats are pulled from RealGM and Synergy on Nov. 30, 2022) 

Wembanyama has a much higher usage rate than Bol and he creates his own shot far more often in isolation and off the dribble.

But otherwise, keeping all of the factors at play in mind, the numbers do look fairly similar. Here are some of the tweets where others have made the same observation — although some may be facetious.

Bol Bol literally has the same skill set as Victor Wembanyama. pic.twitter.com/ml5SQTwdlv

— jose (@KlayForTrey) November 20, 2022

What if Wembanyama is already here? https://t.co/eiOgxoAMS9

— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) November 29, 2022

Victor Wembanyama is a poor man’s Bol Bol. https://t.co/0KTdzDiPYk

— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) November 29, 2022

We already have a Victor Wembanyama in the NBA and his name is BOL BOL

— Matt (@sixringsofsteeI) November 29, 2022

Even though he was a second-round pick back in 2019, Bol was actually considered a higher-rated recruit than Zion Williamson.

Bol didn’t pan out for the Nuggets, unfortunately, but he has since had a career resurgence playing for the Magic.

Based on ESPN’s BPI, Orlando is projected to have a 37.1% chance of landing one of the first three picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. Teams that land within the top three then have a 14% chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick.

Later, we’ll get to some of the other teams who have aspirations of drafting Wembanyama. But until then, let’s daydream about Wembanyama joining the lengthiest team in the NBA playing alongside Bol, Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Mo Bamba.

Isn’t that fun?

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