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Wizards vs. Spurs Preview: Washington hosts San Antonio on Saturday

French rookies and former teammates Bilal Coulibaly and Victor Wembanyama finally get to match up.

2023 NBA Draft Portraits Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Wizards are hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET in a clash of two of the worst teams in the NBA. The Wizards and Spurs are a combined 14-67 with just three total wins against teams with winning records: one Wizards victory against the Pacers and a pair of Spurs wins over the Suns. Both teams are creeping up on negative double-digit net ratings and are getting blown off the floor by just about every competent team in the league.

If you were hoping that Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama, we’ll get our chance. He is resting in the Spurs’ game against the Charlotte Hornets.

That said, Wemby is already a plus NBA player 40-some games into his future hall-of-fame career; he leads the league in blocks per game with 3.1 while putting up 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds per night. This is an especially impressive stat line when you consider that Wemby’s teammates oftentimes seem to forget they are playing alongside a 7’4 science experiment who was cooked up in a lab with the sole purpose of dominating the game of basketball through the 2030s.

Regardless of the outcome (which really is inconsequential), Saturday’s game will serve as a sobering reminder that, had Washington decided to blow it up sooner, there is a real chance Wembanyama would be entering the matchup as a Wizard instead of a Spur. Live and learn, but Washington has the project that is fellow Frenchman Bilal Coulibaly with which to dry their tears. Coulibaly is already the Wizards’ best defensive player and is an efficient, if currently limited, offensive player who projects as a perennial All-Defense candidate.

The most exciting part of Wizards-Spurs is Wemby and Coulibaly getting to share the court once more. Both players were drafted in the top 10 this year from the same professional team in France, Metropolitans 92, and they finished as runners-up in the French league last season. Wemby and Coulibaly are two of the brightest young stars in the league, and this will be the first time they share the court as opponents in the NBA.