Spurs 2024 NBA Draft Lottery results: the good and the bad

Atlanta Hawks wins the NBA draft lottery...
Atlanta Hawks wins the NBA draft lottery... / Anadolu/GettyImages

After roughly a month of building anticipation following their final regular season game, the NBA Draft Lottery results are in; the San Antonio Spurs will be selecting 4th and 8th overall in the 2024 NBA Draft. The Spurs’ own 1st round pick, which was projected at 5th overall by the end of the regular season, moved one spot higher on the board.

Meanwhile, the Raptors’ protected 1st round pick sent to the Spurs via the Jakob Poeltl trade conveyed this season at 8th overall, meaning the Spurs will have two top-ten picks in a single draft for the first time in franchise history.

The question now becomes, “Who do the Spurs pick?” But in this draft, with several moving parts to account for, that’s a bit of a loaded question. So, here, we’ll aim to break down the good and (potentially) bad parts of the lottery results, along with some options for the Spurs at 4th and 8th overall.

The bad

Thankfully, there isn’t much to report here. One could argue that the Toronto Raptors’ pick conveying in the 2025 NBA Draft (a better class) would have been more optimal, but there is also no guarantee that the pick would have conveyed next year. Being that the pick did convey in this year's draft, walking away with an 8th overall pick with a pick that had top-six protections is about as good of a result as possible. While not the absolute best possible outcome, this should be seen as a win.

What could have a negative impact on the Spurs, however, is the Atlanta Hawks securing the first overall pick. Were the Hawks to keep the majority of their current core together and select someone they see as an immediate difference-maker—take French big man Alex Sarr for example—there is a non-zero percent chance that the Hawks’ unprotected draft picks sent to the Spurs in the Dejounte Murray trade just became far less valuable.

On the flip side of that coin, though, the Hawks could also see this as an opportunity to begin a full-scale rebuild and trade one or both of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, among others. In this scenario, the Hawks landing the first overall pick could turn out to be a good thing for the Spurs, but it’s simply too early to tell. Regardless, Spurs fans should be laser-focused on the Hawks' offseason, because as HoopHype’s Mike Scotto puts it, “Soon, the Hawks will have to pick a direction.”

The good

The good parts of the lottery results are self-explanatory: the Spurs have two top-ten picks in the same draft for the first time in franchise history, and even if the Spurs choose not to keep both picks, the team now has more trade ammo at their disposal.

The team now has the assets to move up the draft board if there’s a player the front office is in love with (pay attention to the Washington Wizards at #2 overall), they have the assets to block/prevent draft-night trades if a team attempts to move in front of them, and the Spurs have essentially doubled their chances at selecting a needle-moving player.

Pundits have long been praising the Spurs for the sheer amount of flexibility they’ve created for themselves since leaning into their rebuild and having two lottery selections will only increase that flexibility. Whether the team keeps the picks or uses them in a trade, their options—which we’ll speak on next—are endless.

The Spurs’ draft strategy

The 2024 NBA Draft is considered by many to be one of the weaker draft classes in recent memory, and there is undoubtedly some truth to that, but when evaluating prospects with a Spurs lens, things aren’t as bad as some of that rhetoric may suggest. The hard part of the Spurs’ rebuild—finding their #1 option and key cornerstone piece—is already behind them. The most important task for the team is now to find complementary players to place around Victor Wembanyama for long-term success. From that perspective, the prospects that make up this draft class are far easier to stomach.

It’s abundantly clear that Wembanyama is ready to take the Spurs to the next level sooner rather than later, but don’t expect the Spurs to only select win-now players in the draft, particularly if it comes at the expense of long-term upside. In fact, this year’s draft may be one of the Spurs’ last opportunities to take a home run swing on a high-upside player before the urgency to make a meaningful playoff push catches up with them. In that way, expect the Spurs to take a “best player available” approach, even if it means only experiencing marginal improvements in year one.

If San Antonio is dead set on selecting a point guard in the draft, expect names like Nikola Topic, Rob Dillingham, Isaiah Collier, Reed Sheppard and Jared McCain to top their draft board. But the Spurs fortifying their wing depth with players like Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis, Zaccharie Risacher, Stephon Castle, and Cody Williams is almost just as likely a possibility. The Spurs will have an enormous amount of options on draft night, and now that we know we could be seeing two of these players in Spurs jerseys next season, expect to see more detailed analysis on these players soon.