Three ways the Spurs can use their massive stockpile of draft picks

Victor Wembanyama
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Option #3: Trade up in the draft

The Spurs are the third-worst team in the NBA, and barring another improbable winning streak, they will keep that spot. That would ensure they remain tied for the highest lottery odds in the 2023 NBA Draft. The best-case scenario is they land the first overall pick outright, but if they don't, they are in a solid position to trade up for Wembanyama. Trading up for a player who many believe is the best prospect since LeBron James, perhaps ever, will certainly cost the Spurs a pretty penny.

The Spurs have more draft assets than they can possibly use, so spending them to trade up makes plenty of sense. What could that cost? NBA teams have only parted with the number one pick a few times. The two most famous examples were when the Orlando Magic traded back from first to third with the Golden State Warriors in 1993 and when the Boston Celtics moved back from first to third with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017.

The Magic gave up three additional firsts, while the 76ers only gave up one. However, given the recent precedent since the Rudy Gobert trade, the number of first-round picks teams have used to facilitate deals has increased. That could mean the Spurs would have to give up as many as five first-rounders to land Wembanyama, and they have the most assets of any team in the bottom four. Fortunately, if it comes down to that, the Spurs are in the best position to trade up.

Ultimately, the Spurs' impressive collection of picks could help the team improve beyond just using them to draft players. Of course, how they use them will depend on the results of the NBA Draft Lottery.

Next. How does Spurs' sudden winning impact their draft lottery odds?. dark