Popovich’s new prospect


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Every year all 30 NBA teams gather to select young talented players from college, the G-League, or overseas to join their organization. The selection order is based loosely on teams’ standings from the prior season, and the picks are unveiled during the NBA Draft Lottery on

Photo by Ben Shield

Tuesday, May 16. Though this seems as simple as putting the teams in order from worst to best, much more chaos instills. Furthermore, this year’s draft class contains possibly the greatest prospect anyone has ever seen, which means there is much to unpack. 



Lottery odds are based upon record from the previous year (teams with worse records having better chances at getting a better pick). Teams with no chance at making the playoffs (best 18 teams) will intentionally lose games to receive a better pick in the draft. This year the tanking trend took off due to a particular French overseas player by the name of Victor Wembanyama. Commentators, coaches, and scouts are amazed with Victor’s height of 7-foot-5 (with shoes on), shooting touch, defensive ability, and basketball IQ. He is seen by many as a generational athlete and would serve as a key piece on any team if he can stay healthy. The team who receives Victor will not only get an amazing talent, but they will receive the press and attention that comes with obtaining what some might consider the greatest sport prospect of all time. Everyone wanted to draft the young player, so in their mind tanking was the way to go


Victor Wembanyama

The young 19 year old plays overseas currently for the team named Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in the LNB Pro A league. His stats for his most recent regular season (2022-2023) were 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks a game. These numbers might seem to the untrained eye as fluffed since he plays overseas, which in the basketball world is seen by some as a “soft” place to play. However, is playing in the most competitive league in France, playing against professional players of any age (not just other 19 year olds). He is performing well even with the immense amount of pressure that has been put on him by the media. Another appealing aspect of Wembanyama is his commitment to the teams he played for, which was on full display when he skipped the NBA Draft Combine to finish the season with his team instead of sitting out.  He didn’t have a large reason to continue playing and could’ve easily sat out to prepare for the draft, but he ended up sticking with his team when it mattered. Though this all seems perfect, one issue with Wembanyama is also one of his strengths: his size. 7 footers in the NBA have always been tasked with injuries and issues with their body due to having to perform quick movements that their bodies aren’t really built for. If Wembanyama is unable to stay healthy then all of his skills will be useless for his team. However, his upside is so high that teams are gladly willing to take the risk.


Results and what is next for teams?

This year, the San Antonio Spurs received the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft. They intend to draft Victor Wembamyama. The Spurs coach is Gregg Popovich, who began coaching in 1996 for the team, and is regarded as one of the best minds in the sport. He was put in a similar situation in 1997, after the Spurs received the No. 1 pick and selected a talented player named Tim Duncan. Duncan is now considered a top 10 player of all time, meaning Wembamyama is in good hands. But what is happening in the rest of the draft? A large storyline is the Detroit Pistons, a team tied with the best odds to receive the No. 1 pick, but ended up not even receiving a pick in the top three. Some have speculated that the lottery was rigged, but this is simply not true. The Pistons had a 47% chance of receiving the fifth pick, which means it isn’t out of the ordinary. The NBA wouldn’t put its integrity on the line to establish a storyline. Detroit has a solid young core, and will hopefully recover the unfortunate situation they were put in this year. The Magic received the Bulls’ draft pick since they acquired the pick previously from a trade in 2021. The rest of the draft lottery went mostly to what was expected according the percentages, but we’ll have to wait for the draft and see what happens from there. The NBA Draft will take place on June 22 at 8:00 PM.