Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on February 28, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. Justin Ford/Getty Images


  • The San Antonio Spurs won the first overall pick following the 2023 NBA draft lottery
  • Their history of selecting generational big men with the first overall pick bodes well for Victor Wembanyama
  • Wembanyama is widely viewed as the no-brainer top pick of the 2023 NBA draft

The 2023 NBA lottery saw 14 franchises hoping and praying that the ping pong balls will fall their way, and with the top three teams holding the worst records in the league having a probability of 14% at winning, hope was high for the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons.

As NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum unveiled the top-14 draft order, the Pistons fell to the fifth pick which meant that the Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers jump up into the top four.

However, after the Rockets and Blazers were revealed to be picking fourth and third overall respectively, Tatum unveiled that the Hornets will be picking second as Spurs owner Peter Holt whooped and jumped for joy since they will have the first overall pick.

San Antonio being awarded the top pick in the 2023 NBA draft marked only the third time that it had happened in franchise history and all eyes now know where top prosect Victor Wembanyama is headed.

In the 1987 draft, the Spurs selected US Naval Academy big man David Robinson.

While he was not able to lead the franchise to an NBA title alongside core player Sean Elliott, it led to the Spurs getting the top pick in the 1997 draft which turned into Tim Duncan.

If the past is anything to go by, the Spurs seemingly lucking their way into getting generational big men that help carry the franchise to prominence is going to be the same fate that awaits Wembanyama.

Drafting highly ranked big men appears to be a specialty of the Spurs since Robinson and Duncan, nicknamed the "Twin Towers" put up astounding careers that led to them being selected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The hype train has been chugging along for Wembanyama as his combination of length, width, and skills on both ends of the floor makes him easily one of the best prospects the NBA has ever seen in its history.

Teams had been carefully watching over the French youngster's development since he first broke onto the scene at age 14 in Europe and was even dubbed as a "potential unicorn" prospect as recently as 2018.

Standing at 7-foot-4 with a wingspan of 8 feet, Wembanyama even received praise from all-time great LeBron James after putting up a game-high 37 points, four rebounds, and five blocks while going 7-of-11 from the beyond the three-point arc.

"Everybody has been a unicorn over the last few years, but he's more like an alien. No one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor. At (his size), his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot stepback jumpers out of the post, stepback 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s and block shots. He's for sure a generational talent," James was quoted to have said.

The future is now for the Spurs and after four seasons of missing out on the playoffs, it will only be a matter of time before the Black and Silver return to the postseason and terrorize franchises once again with a generational talent leading the charge anew.

Victor Wembanyama
#1 Victor Wembanyama of the Metropolitans 92 will be a big addition to any NBA team looking for someone who can play both offense and defense starting next season. Steve Marcus/Getty Images