The San Antonio Spurs finished their first full-scale rebuilding season with the third-worst record in team history after countless untimely injuries left their inexperienced roster overmatched. While several youngsters flashed tangible development throughout a frustrating campaign, their front office has an instrumental summer ahead of them.
With around $40 million to spend in free agency, signing marquee names on the open market is one way for the Silver and Black to retool for a real run at the 2024 playoffs. But as a small-market franchise with little pull in the league landscape, the 2023 NBA Draft and its talented pool of world-class prospects is their best shot at returning to relevance.
When is the 2023 NBA Draft?
The 2023 NBA Draft will unfold on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Though this event does not have a set time yet, fans can watch live on ESPN. Besides the pandemic-shortened season in 2020, this arena has been home to every NBA Draft since 2013.
The NBA Draft usually consists of two rounds and 60 selections. However, there will only be 58 picks this year after the league office stripped the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers of their 2023 second-rounders for violating tampering rules in free agency during previous offseasons.
Victor Wembanyama is the overwhelming favorite to be the first prospect off the board, and there isn't a single club that would pass on him if they win the Draft Lottery. Most pundits view Scoot Henderson as the second-best player in this class, and he would be a terrific consolation prize.
How does the Draft impact the Spurs?
The Spurs have three picks in the 2023 NBA Draft: one first-rounder and two second-round selections (32 and 44). San Antonio has the best odds of securing the number one overall pick, but they won't learn their lottery positioning until May 16. Thankfully, the good guys can fall no further than the seventh pick.
Gregg Popovich and the front office will have a shot to add a star-caliber talent no matter how the lottery shakes out. Their second-rounders offer them a ton of flexibility, as they can package them to trade back into the first round or hold onto them and draft a combination of younger upside swings and seasoned win-now players.