Former Lakers champ says Victor Wembanyama might win MVP this season, could win 10 NBA titles in his career

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama didn’t seem like it could get any bigger, but after the San Antonio Spurs rookie phenom put together the first truly outstanding performance of his NBA career, it looks like there is no limit to it.

In fact, former Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta Sandiford-Artest took to social media to predict that the 19-year-old could win MVP this season and that there might be 10 NBA titles in his future.

It took just five games for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to have his breakout performance. Wembanyama recorded 38 points with 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in a 132-121 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Beyond those statistics was the way the rangy big man took over when his team needed him. After the Spurs blew a 27-point lead and allowed the Suns to tie the game in the fourth quarter, Wembanyama scored 10 of the next 12 points to help San Antonio pull away and seal the win, its second straight on the road against one of the favorites to win the NBA championship.

He scored 18 points and had four blocked shots in a 115-114 win at Phoenix on Tuesday, with the two games highlighting his considerable abilities on both ends of the court. But it was his performance Thursday that drew rave reviews from around the NBA universe, including what Sandiford-Artest is now forecasting.

It is of course unlikely that Wembanyama as a rookie can win Most Improved Player, as the award is given to a player who shows the most progress compared to his previous seasons in the league. But if he has more games like his past two, All-Defense and All-NBA selections are certainly possible, and the MVP award would not be out of the question.

TNT analyst Kenny Smith was part of the preseason hype when he predicted Wembanyama would win MVP in four years. But no one could have known how quickly that prediction might have been underselling it.

Next up for Wembanyama and the Spurs are the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Who knows what people might be thinking after that one.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.