After trading All-Star Dejounte Murray, the San Antonio Spurs appear to have hit the reset button on their ongoing rebuild. That move, while surprising, seems to have been done with the 2023 NBA Draft in mind. After all, unlike most drafts, there's a clear top pick, even though it's nearly a year away. 7'2 center Victor Wembanyama is the prize that the Spurs and every other team have their eyes on.
So much so, that teams are opting for a complete rebuild just for a shot at him. In fact, by trading the best player on a 34-win team, the Spurs have made it known that they're in the race for Wembanyama. However, the Spurs will face tough competition in their pursuit of the number one pick, but from which teams? Let's see.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are generally viewed as having the best chances to land the number one overall pick. However, having the worst record in the NBA no longer gives teams a 25% chance of winning the NBA Draft Lottery.
Instead, the three teams with the worst records each have a 14% chance. That means that the Spurs, the Thunder, and another team could end up with the same lottery odds. It's possible, but I think that the Thunder may be better than many expect. For one, they have a star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and good young players like Josh Giddey and Lu Dort.
They also added second overall pick Chet Holmgren, 11th pick Jalen Williams,12th pick Ousmane Dieng, and 34th pick Jaylin Williams. The point is they have enough talent to be competitive and may win a few more games than expected. That could hurt their chances of getting the number one pick, especially if they end up with the fifth-worst record.
Going from 14% to 10.5% might not seem like a huge drop in odds, but when it comes to landing a franchise-changing player, every little bit helps. The Thunder could still be a threat to land Wembanyama by packaging several of their picks to trade up, but in terms of actual lottery odds, maybe less so.