The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone with the San Antonio Spurs finding out that they will be able to add generational talent Victor Wembanyama at No. 1 overall at the NBA Draft in June.
Wembanyama is seen as one of the top prospects to enter the NBA in generations, joining the likes of LeBron James on that exclusive list. While the pressure is certainly going to be on the France native, he has displayed talent that we’ve rarely seen from an NBA Draft prospect.
In no way does this mean that all of the focus is going to be on the 7-foot-5 big man. Guard Scoot Henderson from the G-League’s Ignite and former Alabama star Brandon Miller are also seen as top-end prospects.
With that said, the NBA Draft Lottery did provide us some major winners and losers. Obviously, San Antonio can be considered a winner after taking the top spot in the 2023 NBA Draft. Wembanyama also knows where he is heading, so that makes him a winner.
Without further ado, let’s check in on the winners and losers from the recently completed NBA Draft Lottery. But before we do that, let’s check in on how the odds played out for each lottery team.
2023 NBA Draft Lottery results
|No. 1 pick (odds)
|Top 4 pick (odds)
|San Antonio Spurs
|Portland Trail Blazers
|Orlando Magic (via CHI)
|Oklahoma City Thunder
|New Orleans Pelicans
Winner: Victor Wembanyama finds out where he will play
The 2023 NBA Draft is five weeks away and Wembanyama already knows where he’s going to land. It’s not too often that we see a clear consensus top prospect at this point in the pre-draft process. The last time we saw something similar was when former Duke star Zion Williamson was the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
For Wembanyama, it’s a tad different in that he can now play a role in what direction the Spurs go. The generational talent boasts more sway for his soon-to-be new team than any prospect since LeBron James made his way from Akron to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003.
More than anything, Wembanyama heads to a Spurs organization that has a history of developing international talent. We’ve seen it in the past with the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. It’s probably the best possible fit for the young man.
Loser: Detroit Pistons drop all the way to five in NBA Draft lottery
Detroit joined the Houston Rockets and Spurs with the best odds to earn the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. After everything went according to plan leading up to the announcement of the No. 5 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft lottery, shockingly Detroit was announced to have the fifth pick in the annual event. The team had a 52.1% chance of earning a top-four selection.
Outside of missing out on Wembanyama, the Pistons now find themselves in a sticky situation as they look to build around Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. There are considered three can’t-miss prospects in the annual event. The Pistons are not in a position to land any of them. For a team that tanked its way through the 2022-23 season and has earned only two postseason spots since 2009, this is just terrible news. It’s that simple.
Winner: Portland Trail Blazers get valuable selection
While Portland did not net the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, it does have a top-three selection. That’s two spots higher than most anticipated heading in based on the odds. This does a lot for the suddenly downtrodden franchise.
Whether it’s Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller available at No. 3, the Blazers will be in a good position to land a future cornerstone player. They could also flip this valuable pick as a way to appease disgruntled star Damian Lillard, who doesn’t seem too keen on the idea of Portland actually making a pick at the top of the 2023 NBA Draft. There’s a lot of different directions general manager Joe Cronin and Co. can go here.
Loser: Houston Rockets rebuild take a hit
Houston had a 40% chance of landing a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. After yet another 60-loss season, the team will pick No. 4 overall. Given that general manager Rafael Stone is looking to expedite this rebuild, we’re openly wondering what the Rockets now plan to do with the selection.
It would not be a surprise if Houston opted to move the pick after the results of Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery. There have already been rumors that former lottery pick Jalen Green could be used as a chip to find an All-Star caliber player. Meanwhile, the Rockets continue to be linked to former Houston star James Harden.
Winner: San Antonio Spurs get a goldmine in NBA Draft lottery
The last time San Antonio had the No. 1 pick in the draft, Tim Duncan came calling all the way back in 1997. All he did in 19 seasons with the organization was lead it to five NBA titles. The time before that? David Robinson back in 1987. He won two NBA titles with the Spurs.
- Victor Wembanyama stats (2022-23): 21.6 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.1 BPG, 47% shooting
As you can see, Wembanyama is already dominating professional talent overseas. He’s going to be a difference-maker out of the gate and someone to lead the Spurs forward after they’ve missed out on the playoffs each of the past four seasons.