2. The Eastern Conference Gets What They Want
With a complete 180-degree turn from the reason listed above, the Spurs could benefit heavily if the Eastern Conference teams in the lottery do well. Orlando, Detroit, Indiana, Washington, New York, Charlotte, and Cleveland are all in the lottery, with odds scattered all over the place.
Not only would the Spurs get to avoid playing all that young talent four times a year, but it also means the Spurs could have excellent picks again in 2025. The Chicago Bulls have built around DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine this season, but DeRozan is getting older, LaVine might want a change of scenery, and with extra competition in the conference, the Bulls' 2025 first-round pick might be in the lottery, and it transfers to the Spurs.
Of course, that pick is top-10 protected in 2025, but the protections gradually get less intense as the years pass. Without their competitive core and with harder games on the schedule for Chicago, the Spurs could capitalize in the not-so-distant future and have an additional lottery pick later down the road, in addition to their own picks.
This means that Detroit would get their first pick at power forward over San Antonio, but the East dominating the lottery wouldn’t be the worst-case scenario, as the Spurs have the insurance policy thanks to Chicago.