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Victor Wembanyama Will Play For San Antonio Spurs, Winner Of NBA Draft Lottery – Deadline

Victor Wembanyama, the best NBA prospect since at least LeBron James, will likely play for the San Antonio Spurs. The team won the NBA’s closely-watched draft lottery tonight and will, unless something bizarre happens, draft the 7’3″ Frenchman next month.

The news instantly vaults the lowly the San Antonio Spurs into playoff contention. It will also ensure sold out arenas for years to come for the franchise, as well as a vastly-increased national TV presence on TNT, ABC and ESPN.

That latter network’s Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski — a man not given to hyperbole — said before the draft today, “This is the most highly-anticipated player to ever enter the NBA…maybe the greatest prospect in the history of team sports.”

The 19-year-old Wembanyama has an eight-foot wingspan and is an outstanding shot-blocker. He often draws comparisons to perennial All Star Kevin Durant, not just for his willowy frame but for his ability to put the ball on the floor, pass and shoot the 3-ball at his size. In fact, the Frenchman said he patterned parts of his game after Durant’s.

LeBron James has said of Wembanyama, “Everybody has been a unicorn over the last few years, but he’s more like an alien. 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 (his size), his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot step-back jumpers out of the post, step-back threes, catch-and-shoot threes and block shots. He’s for sure a generational talent.”

Asked by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst for his reaction to the San Antonio news, Wembanyama called it “a really special moment” before saying, “I want to win a ring, ASAP.”

Wembanyama is going to a franchise and a coach that know how to groom prime prospects into superstars and win championships. Under the legendary Greg Popovich’s guidance, the Spurs have won five NBA titles since 1996 and been home to hall-of-fame big men like David Robinson and Tim Duncan.

It’s a welcome win for the Spurs who, despite their decorated history, have fallen on hard times in the past few years, ending the 2022-2023 campaign with a record of 22-60. That’s the second-worst in the league.

The actual draft — the selection of players by teams who found out their lottery rankings today — will happen on June 22.

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