Spurs win Wembanyama sweepstakes

San Antonio lands its third No. 1 overall pick in franchise history

Rylan Renteria, Contributor

The NBA Draft letter is one of the most intriguing and unique draft practices across all sports. The worst team in the league is not guaranteed to have the best pick in the draft, though with the rights to one of the best prospects since LeBron James on the line, multiple teams had no problems throwing away their 2022-23 season for a shot at him. 

  Victor Wembenyama is a 7-foot-2 center from Le Chesnay, France, who can do just about anything you ask of him. He averaged 21.6 playing for the Metropolitans 92 in the LNB Pro A, which is the highest-level league in France. However, his stats are not what has earned him the hype he has currently, it’s more his elite physical attributes. It’s one thing to be really tall in the NBA but to be as tall as he is and move the way he does is almost unheard of. Wembenyama possesses elite agility, allowing him to play great defense and be great with the ball. As a center with such height, you would expect him to just play near the basket, but Wembenyama is just as good from the three-point line as he is from the rim. 

  When the Spurs traded star point guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks prior to the 2022-23 season, it appeared they were starting to rebuild. With Wembenyama being draft eligible, there was no better season to be one of the worst teams in the league. Unsurprisingly, the Spurs finished at the bottom of the standings and were tied with the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons for the best odds (14 percent) for the No. 1 overall pick.  

  On lottery night the two other teams who were tied for the best odds for pick one, had been awarded unfortunate slots in the draft. With those teams out of the race, San Antonio was launched into the top-3 picks, where they would eventually secure the first pick. “There’s a special relationship between the Spurs and France because of Tony [Parker] and Boris [Diaw] … the whole country wanted the Spurs to have the first pick,” said Wembenyama following the announcement.  

  With a large amount of cap space, multiple first-round draft picks, and a solid young core consisting of players such as Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johnson, the Spurs will look to be back contending for titles in the near future.