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San Antonio Spurs eyeing big trade in NBA draft

Heading into the 2023 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs are already set to win the night. Drafting Victor Wembanyama, a prospect many suggest is the best talent since LeBron James, does it really matter what else happens after No. 1?

Of course it matters to the other 57 prospects experiencing a life-changing moment as they enter the NBA, plus the 29 other teams set to improve their rosters. But believe it or not, the Spurs still have other needs besides Wemby. There’s still more work to be done.

After all, this is still a roster that finished tied for the second-worst record in the NBA. Wembanyama will need help to improve a group that won just 22 games under Gregg Popovich, the second-fewest of his 27-year coaching career.

One way the Spurs could look to add more talent could come on draft night. But, as they sit with the 33rd and 44th picks, the prospects they find in the second round may not be able to contribute as rookies, even on a struggling team.

According to Yahoo’s Jake Fischer, the Spurs have been trying to trade for a second lottery pick or a spot in the first 14 selections. The NBA insider adds that their target may even be Wembanyama’s French teammate Bilal Coulibaly, an 18-year-old 6-foot-8 point guard projected to be a lottery pick.

Wembanyama recently admitted he’d welcome an opportunity to continue being Coulibaly’s teammate in the NBA too:

“Being a teammate with him again would be great. One of the best starts for his career and for mine.”

Jumping up from No. 33 into the top 14 would be a large leap for the Spurs, but if they can land their new franchise cornerstone’s pal, the price may be worth paying, no matter the cost.

Related: Top 100 NBA Draft prospects of 2023: From Victor Wembanyama to Lamont Butler

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