Draymond Green says he wouldn’t trade LeBron James for Victor Wembanyama

Ryan Aston
3 Min Read

The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery is officially on the books, and the San Antonio Spurs defied the odds to come away with the No. 1 overall selection.

As a result, they’ll have first crack at French national, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 big man and top-rated prospect Victor Wembanyama. And while the 19-year-old Wembanyama is considered by many to be a potential generational talent, some people still prefer known quantities.

For his part, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green just went on record saying that he (or, rather, a hypothetical league GM) wouldn’t trade 38-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James for Wembanyama given the chance to do so, even as some have opined that Wembanyama has surpassed James as the draft’s best-ever prospect.

James wasn’t the only player Green believed would be valued above the incoming 7-footer, either. That said, outside the NBA’s absolute elite, he can’t see Wembanyama getting traded for anyone in the Association.

“I’m not sure how many [players wouldn’t be dealt for Wembanyama] but there’s definitely a few,” Green said on the latest episode of his podcast. “LeBron wouldn’t be. Steph [Curry] wouldn’t be. I don’t think Luka [Doncic] would be, Joker (Nikola Jokic) wouldn’t be. I think there’s a few more names out there.

“So, let’s just say for the sake of standard roster spots — 450 spots, 435, 440 — would be, which is saying a lot.”

Despite Wembanyama’s apparent upside, it’s hard to fault Green for picking James over him here. The Lakers cornerstone just led his squad to the Western Conference Finals and is fresh off of a regular season that saw him average 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. James also hit pay dirt on 50.0 percent of his shot attempts once again.

While he seemingly wouldn’t part with James to gamble on Wembanyama’s potential, Green did speak positively of the youngster’s spot in the hierarchy of all-time great prospects. However, he stopped short of joining those proclaiming that Wembanyama has surpassed James as the GOAT draft prospect.

The 2023 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 22, and will emanate from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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Ryan hails from Salt Lake City and has covered the Association for longer than he cares to admit, in addition to his work in the entertainment space. Past bylines include Heavy Sports, FanSided, Bleacher Report and Screen Rant.