San Antonio Spurs was awarded the top pick in next month’s NBA draft on Tuesday night in Chicago, leaving them in a pole position to land the French prodigy Victor Wembanyama.
The San Antonio Spurs may have lost 60 games this season, but it has won the Wembanyama sweepstakes.
The Spurs were one of three teams with a 14 per cent chance of landing the top pick in the NBA draft lottery and now will likely use the pick on Wembanyama, the 19-year-old French sensation.
San Antonio has landed big-time stars with the No. 1 overall choice in the past, selecting David Robinson first in 1987 and Tim Duncan 10 years later.
“It’s a really special moment that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Wembanyama said from Paris on ESPN. “... I’m trying to win a ring ASAP.”
The 7-foot-2 Wembanyama is considered the best NBA prospect since LeBron James went No. 1 overall in 2003.
“I might faint, I’m so excited,” Spurs managing partner Peter J. Holt said. “The city of San Antonio, our fans, we just have so many people that love the Spurs. We’re pumped.”
The Charlotte Hornets will select second, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets. Houston also had a 14 per cent chance of winning the lottery.
The Detroit Pistons, the third team with a 14 per cent chance of landing the first pick, will choose fifth.
Wembanyama played his final regular-season game in France on Tuesday and scored 22 points as Boulogne-Levallois recorded a 93-85 win over Paris Basketball. He scored 14 of his points in the fourth quarter for the Metropolitans 92.
Wembanyama will have to adjust to living in a foreign country as well as playing against the best men in the world.
“I can’t wait to meet the fans and the team I’m about to join in June,” Wembanyama said.
Scoot Henderson of G League Ignite and Alabama’s Brandon Miller are the leading candidates to be the No. 2 and 3 picks.
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