It's a special time to be a basketball fan. Two of the most talented and hyped NBA prospects in recent memory competed against each other this week, leaving the San Antonio Spurs and every other team in the association watching with fascination.
Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson showed off their incredible talent in a pair of matchups between Metropolitans 92 and the G League Ignite. The two presumed top picks in next summer's NBA Draft put on a show with every eye in the world of basketball watching.
It's safe to say that for now, Wembanyama cemented himself as the top pick when next June rolls around. In his two games against the Ignite, he put up averages of 36.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 4.5 made threes.
In fact, Wemby put up a stat line in his first game that's only been accomplished once in NBA history when he knocked down seven threes while blocking five shots. His performance was so dazzling that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned teams against tanking for him on Thursday.
San Antonio could be Wemby's landing spot
With the San Antonio Spurs heading into a season where expectations are lower than most can remember, it begs the question: could Victor Wembanyama end up in the Silver and Black? It's possible, but let's look at what they would need to do to get there.
While the Spurs won't take the court intending to be embarrassed by an opponent this year, they're in a position where they will likely be outmatched from a talent standpoint on a nightly basis. It's very likely that they end up with a high lottery pick.
To have a chance at drafting Wembanyama, they will in all likelihood need to own the first pick in the draft. As of right now, Tankathon lists the Spurs as one of three teams with a 52.4% chance at a top-four pick, as well as a 14% chance at the number one pick.
And they're not the only ones projecting San Antonio to finish with one of the worst records in 2022-23. Between Draft Kings, Bet Online, and Bovada, the Spurs have an average over/under win total of 22.8, the lowest in the NBA.
Spurs will need to lose 60 games
While the Spurs finishing with the worst record can't guarantee them a certain draft pick, it will absolutely give them better odds at selecting a generational talent like Wembanyama. In the last 10 seasons, the team with the worst record in the NBA averaged 17.1 wins and never finished with more than 21 wins.
From this, we can deduce that for San Antonio to finish with the league's worst record they will need to lose at least 60 games. Doing so would almost certainly keep them among the group of three teams with 14% lottery odds.
Winning more than 22-24 games could be dangerous territory for the Spurs' lottery odds, as it could cause them to slip out of the top three. This would ultimately make it much less likely they get a chance to draft Victor Wembanyama.
So if you're hoping to see the 7'4" unicorn in the Silver and Black in 2023, you'd better hope the Spurs can forget how to win, if just for one season.