The San Antonio Spurs didn't get lucky in the NBA Draft Lottery, but that doesn't mean they can't still move up to a higher pick next month.
Going into the Lottery with the 9th-best odds, the Spurs ended up in the exact position they were expected to land, which will be the highest they've drafted since they took Tim Duncan first in 1997. While there are plenty of standout prospects projected to be available in that slot, they may end up wanting to move up even more if someone really sticks out to them as a big contributor going forward.
With that said, not all teams ahead of the Spurs will be up for playing ball with their high picks. Using intel I collected from all around the internet, here's the latest on where every team 1-8 stands
1. Orlando Magic
There's just no way Orlando is going to trade their pick of the litter with the top three prospects in the country this year. Magic beat writer Khobi Price recently wrote "they're keeping an open mind but are eager to fall in love with the No. 1 pick -- not trade it."
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Like the Magic, you shouldn't bet on the Thunder seriously entertaining offers for the second pick in the NBA Draft. A beat writer summed up the situation recently:
3. Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone has publicly said the organization is "always available to listen to offers if other teams are interested" when asked about trading the number three pick. While I don't really believe anything will come of that statement, we've previously explored the kinds of packages it would likely take for the Spurs to slide all the way up to third in June's draft.
4. Sacramento Kings
You never know what you're going to get from the Sacramento Kings' front office -- one that just traded its committed lottery pick, Tyrese Haliburton, to the Indiana Pacers despite him having a sky-high ceiling. They're seeking their first playoff appearance since 2006, so nothing should be off the table at spot number four this summer.
The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov reported on Monday (subscription required) that the Kings' upcoming pick is believed to be available among NBA executives and scouts in trade talks.
5. Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons have been quiet about their intentions with the fifth pick. The most involved they'll be in with trade rumors will likely be surrounding Jerami Grant, who seems to be endlessly involved in such talks. They'll be happy to select at 5th but, like many teams outside of the top three, could be open for the right deal.
6. Indiana Pacers
On Monday night, BasketballNews.com reporter Evan Sidery cited Arizona radio show host John Gambadoro in speculation about moving their pick in a potential sign-and-trade for Deandre Ayton.
Shortly after the Pacers nabbed the 6th seed in the NBA Draft, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard talked about being aggressive by any means necessary:
"We’re going to work. We’re gonna kick butt. We’re not messing around. I think we showed last year that we’re willing to move and toggle to get where we want to get.” Pacers’ president Kevin Pritchard said."
From these comments, it seems like the Pacers would only trade up a few spots if they do move their pick, but anything seems to be on the table.
7. Portland Trail Blazers
In the same report the Kings were mentioned, The Athletic also named Portland's 7th pick as being thought of to be available by other NBA executives and league scouts.
8. New Orleans Pelicans
According to SI.com's Chris Dodson, the Pelicans might be exploring a potential all-in trade for a top prospect on their list.
Some names Dodson mentions in a possible trade include Kira Lewis Jr and Garrett Temple, but it's important to note that this is speculation and not something coming from the Pelicans themselves. Our colleagues at Pelicans Debrief recently dove more into the best strategy New Orleans should employ this offseason.
The good news for the Spurs is they have plenty of assets to utilize in a potential trade up, including picks 9, 20, 25, and 38. It's up to them to decide if a package to move up a bit more is worth it, but there could be some mutual interest if that's the path they decide to take.