The San Antonio Spurs were the big winners of the NBA Draft Lottery and will now select first on June 22nd. San Antonio landing the number one pick in this year’s draft caps a stunning and under-the-radar turnaround. This after the Spurs assembled one of the largest stockpiles of picks in the NBA in just a couple of seasons. However, they won’t have to use them to try and draft a superstar or trade for one since they will be able to select a potential superstar in Wembanyama.
The Spurs wisely gambled on this outcome last summer when they decided to bottom out. After winning 35 games last season, they opted to trade all-star Dejounte Murray to Atlanta for three first-round picks and a pick swap. That deal not only looked like a home run for the Spurs but also cleared the deck for them to tank. Now they have the opportunity to draft the next big thing.
The Spurs are the perfect fit for Victor Wembanyama.
Despite tying for the second-worst record in the NBA, Wembanyama will be joining a surprisingly promising young roster. Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell, the team’s two best players, are just 23 and 22, respectively, and both managed to up their games this season. Johnson’s scoring jumped from 17 to 22 points per game, while Vassell’s jumped from 12.3 to 18.5 points per game.
Upcoming free agent and former second-round pick Tre Jones proved he was a capable starter and provided the Spurs with some much-needed playmaking after trading Murray. Meanwhile, the team selected three players in the first round of the 2022 draft: Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham, and Blake Wesley, and each proved worthy of being picked.
Sochan gave the Spurs immediate help at power forward, their weakest position; Branham had a strong second half of the season, including averaging nearly 17 points per game in February. Additionally, Wesley showed flashes as a quick, long, and crafty backup point guard.
While all of the aforementioned players have plenty of potential, none of them project to be superstars, which is why San Antonio is the perfect fit for Wembanyama. After all, they have a solid starting point guard in Jones, two high-scoring wings in Vassell and Johnson, and a versatile four in Sochan. Each player can help make Wembanyama’s transition to the NBA much smoother, and, in turn, he can help them get easy baskets by drawing double-teams.
Overall, the Spurs have quietly assembled a talented young roster that will greatly benefit from Wembanyama and visa versa. Better yet, they still have a treasure trove of picks to use to build around him, proving that they are the best team for him.