It was an evening to remember for the Spurs, who are the likely winners of Victor Wembanyama after a sensational reveal at the 2023 Draft Lottery on Tuesday saw them convert their 14% odds — tied for the best with Houston and Detroit — into the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
San Antonio secured the top overall pick for a third time in franchise history, giving the franchise a chance once again to resume and reset. They have a history with such moves which turned into histories, as it did with David Robinson in 1987 and with Tim Duncan in 1997 — around a big man viewed as a generational prospect. Follow your favourite NBA team with attractive sports betting odds from Nextbet.
The Charlotte Hornets moved up two spots and won the second overall pick in the draft, while the Portland Trail Blazers moved up to the No. 3 pick. The Houston Rockets fell to the fourth pick and the Detroit Pistons, in a stunner, fell all the way to No. 5.
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum revealed the results inside the W375e ballroom in the sprawling McCormick Place event center to nasty reactions across the room. Much of the lottery order as it was revealed in countdown style — from No. 14 to No. 1 — held true to form based on pre-lottery statistical odds.
That was until Detroit, which had tied for the best odds of winning the No. 1 pick, fell down to No. 5. Houston fell two spots from its pre-lottery position to No. 4, while Portland, Charlotte and San Antonio all moved up two spots each.
Peter John Holt, the on-stage lottery representative for the Spurs and the chairman of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, was all happy as he sat on stage awaiting his franchise’s fortune Tuesday. He then quickly let himself out and erupted in elation as the Hornets were revealed to be the owners of the No. 2 pick, giving by process of elimination the Spurs the top overall pick.
“LET’S GO!” he shouted, slamming his fist on his dais as NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announced the Hornets pick. “WHOOOOOO! LET’S GO!!”
Winning the rights to draft a potential superstar talent in Wembanyama elicited euphoria from Holt and the entire Spurs brass in attendance was right along with him. General manager Brian Wright (second from left below) and former GM R.C. Buford (far left below), now CEO, couldn’t help but grin ear to ear on stage as they posed for pictures afterwards. Follow Nextbet Sports to get all the latest updates from the NBA.