The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery has been hyped for many months as one of the most impactful in years. The reason for this is Victor Wembanyama, a 19-year-old French forward/center. Wembanyama is the most-anticipated NBA prospect since LeBron and could become the next generational star of the NBA. His 7"5 frame, 8-foot wingspan, and ability to shoot off the dribble and hit step-back threes is a lethal combination.
While Wembanyama has been playing professionally in France since 2019, 2023 marks the year that he is eligible to declare for the NBA draft. It's a moment that Wembanyama has spent a decade preparing for, ever since his days playing youth-league ball in Paris' 15th Arrondissement. And then, on May 16, the day had finally arrived for an NBA team to get their next superstar.
Spurs Win First Draft Lottery Since 1997
Entering the draft lottery, three teams held the highest odds to earn the first-overall pick. The Pistons, who held the worst record in the NBA this season, were hoping for the second #1 pick in the last three drafts, also selecting first in 2021. However, it was more of a historic moment for the other two teams with the best odds. The Rockets had last held the first-overall pick in 2002 when they selected Yao Ming. As for the Spurs, they hadn't picked first overall since taking Tim Duncan in 1997.
But the night quickly turned to heartbreak for two of the three teams. The Pistons were called at #5, marking the fifth consecutive that that worst team in the NBA didn't get the first-overall pick. Meanwhile, the Rockets came off the board a pick later at #4. By the time Commissioner Adam Silver arrived at the #2 pick, only the Hornets and Spurs were left. As the envelope revealed Charlotte's logo, Spurs owner Peter J. Holt could be seen pounding the top of his podium in joy. Speaking to the press later, Holt reiterated how he felt about the result of the lottery. "I'm a believer that good things happen to great people," Holt said. "We're surrounded by amazing people that try to be of service and help others and build things that are great. So you're going to attract some amazing things. That's what happened tonight."
Are you excited to see Wembanyama in the NBA? Let us know in the comments.