French prospect Victor Wembanyama has been subject to intense publicity for quite some time now. With many projecting the 7-foot-2 big to be the #1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Wembanyama is set to become a hot commodity as he becomes draft eligible, but not many expected his talents to be available this early on. As he opted to part ways with Nanterre 92 to further his development.

Following his shock departure, many professional teams around the globe were suddenly on alert. Including the highly publicized G League Ignite and Overtime Elite programs, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Who have been tracking Wembanyama’s status for quite some time.

Since, it has been reported by BeBasket that the French youngster will remain in his native homeland to join ASVEL. Due to the switch in teams, Nanterre 92 will reportedly receive just 80,000 euros in compensation. This is according to French law, due to Wembanyama still being a teenager.

There is a question that may be doing the rounds, however.

Why has Victor Wembanyama decided to jump ship to ASVEL? 

One man comes to the forefront, Tony Parker, who is the owner of the 19-time French champions. Parker became the majority stakeholder in the club back in 2014 and has been involved in the set-up since 2009, holding ambitious plans for the French side. He will, most likely, act as a mentor for the future #1 pick. 

Nicolas Batum is also part of ASVEL, and works alongside Parker. That alone gives Wembanyama plenty of NBA experience and endless connections to use at his disposal. As he aims to up his game to the next level.

ASVEL operates on a large budget in the JEEP Elite, France’s top tier, and has heavily invested in their facilities and youth programs. Part of this comes from the football team, Olympique Lyonnais, who own a multi-million euro stake in the club. Thus, creating an elite set-up that has seen the likes of Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Theo Maledon progress through the system in recent years.

As well as participating in the JEEP Elite, ASVEL are part of the prestigious EuroLeague competition. Operating as Europe’s premier competition, the EuroLeague hosts the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Fenerbahce, alongside many other talented teams. Consequently, providing Wembanyama the opportunity to compete at the very top level in Europe. This is something that Nanterre 92 failed to offer the young prospect.

A legendary mentor, NBA connections, elite facilities, and an increased level of play, that’s why Victor Wembanyama has opted to switch allegiances to ASVEL.