The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, which , will be remembered as the "Wembanyama sweepstakes," as French phenom Victor Wembanyama is universally expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft. At 7-foot-2 with tight handles and a smooth shot, Wembanyama boasts a crazy mix of size and athleticism, and as a result he has league executives drooling. He has also already caught the eye of some of the league's top players.
"Everybody's been a unicorn over the last few years, but [Wembanyama] is more like an alien,"of Wembanyama . "No one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor. At 7-4, 7-5, 7-3, whatever the case may be, his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot stepback jumpers out of the post, stepback 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block shots, he's for sure a generational talent."
Wembanyama will provide an enormous, immediate boost -- both on and off of the floor -- to whichever organization is able to acquire him, which is why every single squad would love to land him. But, while Wembanyama would be a welcome addition on any team, some potential destinations project to be better fits than others. Here's a ranking of every lottery team based on how Wembanyama's fit with the franchise, from worst to first.
*The number in parentheses after each team is that team's percentage chance of winning the draft lottery.
14. Dallas Mavericks (3%): Wembanyama doesn't need to begin his career having to deal with the ongoing drama in Dallas. Plus, playing alongside a very ball-dominant guard in Luka Doncic, and perhaps another in Kyrie Irving, probably wouldn't be the best for Wemby's early development. He would be better suited in a situation where he is assured to get ample touches right from the jump.
13. Washington Wizards (6.7%): Washington doesn't really have an established history of developing young talent, or developing a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference either. They just parted ways with general manager Tommy Shepard in April, so the front office isn't the league's most stable. That's not to say the organization wouldn't be able to maximize Wembanyama, but it's certainly fair to wonder how well it would work there.
12. Portland Trail Blazers (10.5%): The Blazers wouldn't be a great fit for Wembanyama unless they were to trade Damian Lillard this offseason and undertake a complete rebuild. Lillard has made it clear that he isn't interested in being part of such a rebuild, so as long as he's on the roster, the Blazers remain in win-now mode. Wembanyama would probably be better suited on a team that can afford to be patient with his development. Even though he's being playing professional for several years, it could still take him some time to get comfortable in the NBA.
11. Oklahoma City Thunder (1.7%): The Thunder have a player somewhat similar to Wembanyama who they just drafted with the second overall pick in the draft last season in Chet Holmgren. While there's nothing wrong with overlapping talent, the Thunder might want to at least see what they have in Holmgren, who missed the entirety of last season, before investing another high lottery pick in the same spot. With that said, it would certainly be fun to watch Wemby play with a Thunder team that won 40 games this past season.
10. Toronto Raptors (1%): There's too much up in the air for the Raptors right now. They just fired coach Nick Nurse and have yet to hire a replacement, and the futures of several players on the roster are in question. Toronto has done a good job of drafting and developing, so Wemby landing there wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but there are certainly more intriguing destinations.
9. Utah Jazz (4.5%): The Jazz have a lot of draft picks in the war chest after the recent Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert trades. Adding Wembanyama as the main franchise building block moving forward would be great start for a Jazz team still seeking its first NBA title. The Jazz have never had the top pick in the draft before, and this would surely be a good time for luck to be on Utah's side.
8. Indiana Pacers (6.8%): Playing alongside Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana could really help to open things up for Wembanyama on the offensive end early in his career. Plus, playing for a well-respected veteran coach with championship experience like Rick Carlisle could be beneficial. It wouldn't be the most exciting place for him to land, but it would be a solid spot.
7. Charlotte Hornets (12.5%): Charlotte would be an interesting landing spot for Wembanyama. They already have a young star guard in LaMelo Ball, and he and Wemby could potentially play off of each other really well. If you put some veterans around those guys you'd have a pretty intriguing team. Charlotte drafted a center in Mark Williams the first round last year, but they still wouldn't pass on the opportunity to draft a potentially generational talent like Wembanyama if afforded the opportunity.
6. Houston Rockets (14%): The Rockets already have a plethora of young talent in place at various positions, and they just hired a new head coach in Ime Udoka, who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season. It might take a year or two for the team to mature, but the ceiling would be sky high.
5. Chicago Bulls (1.8%): The NBA would probably like Wemby to land in Chicago since it's the largest market out of all of the potential landing spots. Plus, having the potential future face of the league playing for the franchise Michael Jordan made iconic would probably be pretty great from a marketing perspective.
4. Detroit Pistons (14%): The Pistons are in the midst of a full-blown rebuild and they already have several other promising young players in place including Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, so Wembanyama would fit along with the team's timeline perfectly. He could be the final piece to the puzzle for Detroit to move forward with one of the top young cores in the league. Also there's potential for Wemby's star power to really take off if he's the guy who is able to lead the Pistons back to prominence.
3. Orlando Magic (9%): The Magic would be a great fit for Wembanyama. They already have a ton of young talent on the roster, but not necessarily at the center spot. If Wemby slid into that spot, he would get to play alongside recently crowned Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero, and the pair would immediately form the most promising young frontcourt combination in the entire league. Orlando is a place where Wembanyama would get to blossom, and his addition could help turn the Magic into an Eastern Conference contender.
2. New Orleans Pelicans (.5%): The last two times the Pelicans landed the top overall pick in the draft they nailed the selection. They took Anthony Davis with the top pick in 2012 and Zion Williamson in 2020. Unfortunately, injury issues hampered both of those guys during their time with the Pelicans, but hopefully that won't be the case with Wembanyama. The Pelicans have a competent front office, and adding Wembanyama to a team that already has Williamson and other talented players like Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum would be intriguing for sure.
1. San Antonio Spurs (14%): The Spurs are the best fit for Wembanyama. They're a steady organization with a proven track record of developing and maximizing young talent. Plus, Wembanyama would get the opportunity to start his career by playing for one of the best coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich. Also the Spurs don't currently have any sort of established identity or other young cornerstones in place, so they will immediately be able to begin building around Wembanyama.