Victor Wembanyama, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, which is scheduled for June 22, could make his unofficial debut for the San Antonio Spurs even earlier than initially expected.
The Sacramento Kings announced on Wednesday that the Spurs have joined the field for the fifth annual California Classic Summer League, which the Kings will host on July 3 and 5. That event takes place prior to the main Las Vegas Summer League, which runs from July 7-17.
In addition to the Kings and Spurs, the California Classic will feature the Charlotte Hornets — who have the No. 2 overall pick — the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Under a new format, the event will take place over two days, and there will be a triple-header featuring all six teams on each day.
Here is a look at the full schedule:
- Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 6 p.m. ET
- San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Hornets, 8 p.m. ET
- Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m. ET
- Golden State Warriors vs. Charlotte Hornets, 6 p.m. ET
- San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m. ET
- Miami Heat vs. Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m. ET
That matchup between the Spurs and Hornets on July 3 will be the one to watch — that is, as long as both of the top-two picks play. In theory, that could be the first time we see Wembanyama in a Spurs uniform, and perhaps against Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller.
It’s worth noting, though, that Wembanyama is still playing over in France for Metropolitans 92. They are currently up 2-0 in the semifinals against Lyon, and will play Game 3 of that best-of-five series on June 2. Assuming Mets 92 advance, the LNB Pro A Finals will run from June 11-20, at which point Wembanyama will head straight to the United States for the draft.
After such a grueling season, the Spurs may want their prized prospect to take some time off — especially given some of the injury concerns with his body type. We should see Wembanyama at some point in the summer, but exactly when remains to be seen. If it’s right away on July 3, that would be excellent.