The San Antonio Spurs won the 2023 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, giving them the No. 1 overall pick and the opportunity to select French super-prospect Victor Wembanyama. This marks the third time in franchise history that the Spurs have held the No. 1 pick, having previously selected David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997.
With a 14% chance of winning the lottery, the Spurs, along with the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets, had the highest odds of getting the top pick. The Hornets will draft second, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers and Rockets. The Pistons, who finished with the worst record in the league, will pick fifth.
Wembanyama, 19, is considered a generational talent for his height of 7-foot-5 and his ability to create his own shot off the dribble, shoot step-back 3s, and use an 8-foot wingspan to protect the rim. He is the consensus top draft pick and has been expected to be the top selection for months.
The Spurs’ general manager Brian Wright praised Wembanyama’s unique skills and ability to think the game. He said that when people use the term “generational talent,” it extends beyond just basketball skills. Wright added that having a player like Wembanyama on the team is exciting for the franchise, the fans, and the entire organization.
The scene in San Antonio was jubilant as Spurs fans learned of the team’s lottery win, with many celebrating on social media. Wembanyama will have the opportunity to be coached by Gregg Popovich, who is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in NBA history.
The draft will take place on June 22 at Barclays Center in New York.