Victor Wembanyama has grown a little. Or not, depending on perspective.
The official height for the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, the San Antonio Spurs said Wednesday, is 7 feet, 3-1/2 inches — and that was measured without shoes, per NBA guidelines.
That’s a half-inch taller than Wembanyama said he was back in October, when he was in Las Vegas for a pair of exhibition games. (His official height then was 2.21 meters, he said, and he’s now nearly 2.23 meters.) Which makes sense, given that he was 18 then, has turned 19 since and it’s reasonable to think he might still have a bit of growing left.
He has been listed by various sites as anywhere between 7-foot-2 and 7-foot-5, in part because of how he towers over other 7-footers when photographed standing with them. The NBA listed him at 7-foot-4 in the league’s guide for last week’s draft, but that was not based off any official measurement.
The 7-3.5 figure puts Wembanyama on pace to be the NBA’s second-tallest player this coming season. Officially, the NBA listed Boban Marjanovic at 7-foot-4 this past season, making him the league’s tallest player. Kristaps Porzingis, who played for Washington and has since been traded to Boston, was listed at 7-foot-3.
Almost every player in the draft had their height measured by the NBA in recent weeks, most of them at the 2023 Draft Combine that was held in Chicago back in May. Wembanyama was not at the combine; his team in France still had its season going on at that time, so he couldn’t get to Chicago to be measured.
But when he arrived in San Antonio this past weekend, the Spurs got the official number.
Wembanyama would have been the tallest player at the combine as well, albeit barely. Purdue’s Zach Edey, the AP college basketball player of the year who decided to return to school, measured in at 7 feet, 3-1/4 inches, the NBA said.
The NBA changed its policy before the 2019-20 season, requiring players to be measured without shoes for their official height. That led to a number of players “shrinking” an inch, though a handful of players — Kevin Durant, for example, who went from being listed at 6-foot-9 to officially measuring 6-foot-10 — actually got an inch taller on paper when their measurement was updated.