NBA Draft Lottery: Winners and Losers

The NBA Draft Lottery Draw on Tuesday night possibly change the San Antonio Spurs for the next decade or two. The Spurs converted their 14% odds, tied as the best odds with Detroit and Houston, into the number 1 pick for the June Draft. This means that the most anticipated draft pick since LeBron James in 2003 the 7-foot-4 Victor Wembanyama will be wearing a Spurs uniform next season. The draft lottery determined the order of the 60 picks and naturally, there were winners and losers. Below, we give you more details on what happened.

NBA Draft Lottery
(Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport)

NBA Draft Lottery Results: Did the Spurs just become title contenders again?

The Spurs were among the 3 teams ranked at 14% odds to land the number 1 draft pick during the NBA Draft Lottery Draw and they did just that. This means that on draft night in June, the Spurs will be walking away with the franchise-altering 19-year-old Frenchman Victor Wembanyama as their new superstar. For over a year now everyone was excited to welcome Wembanyama to the NBA and he is seen by many as “the greatest prospect in the history of team sports”. Now he will be joining a franchise that dominated for 3 decades after selecting 2 other bigs in the past as number 1 overall picks – David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997. Can Wembanyama resurrect the glory days in San Antonio once more?

Victor Wembanyama
(Photo by Herve Bellenger/Icon Sport)


Here is the Draft Lottery order for the first 14 picks. We don’t look beyond that, as normally between now and late June when the draft is a lot of teams trade their picks if they are outside the top 14. Here are the picks that every team is likely to keep and use:

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Charlotte Hornets
  3. Portland Trail Blazers
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. Detroit Pistons
  6. Orlando Magic
  7. Indiana Pacers
  8. Washington Wizards
  9. Utah Jazz
  10. Dallas Mavericks
  11. Orlando Magic (via Chicago Bulls)
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder
  13. Toronto Raptors
  14. New Orleans Pelicans

Who are the other hot prospects from the class of 2023 outside Wembanyama?

Of course, with so much hype surrounding Wembanyama, it’s easy to forget that the 2023 draft will have many other great players joining the NBA. Here we give you our take on who we think will be the first 5 picks of the 2023 NBA Draft after Wembanyama puts on a Spurs uniform, of course.

Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller would have normally been seen as sure number 1 picks any other year, but now they will likely go as number 2 and 3. Charlotte pick second and as they already have LaMello Ball at point guard we think they might go for Brandon Miller. This would mean that the vastly talented Henderson will be joining Dame Lillard and the Trail Blazers. Of course, things can change between now and draft night.

We think that the other 2 players that will go in the first 5 picks will be Amen Thompson of Overtime Elite and Cam Whitmore from Villanova.

Who are the biggest winners and losers from the draft lottery?

Naturally, the biggest winners of the lottery were the San Antonio Spurs as they guarantee themselves a huge superstar. The Charlotte Hornets are also excited to have landed the number 2 pick and they are also guaranteed to get a hugely talented player for their roster. The third biggest winners in our opinion were the Dallas Mavericks. They gambled a lot at the end of the regular season but the gamble paid off and they keep the 10th pick instead of having to give it away to the New York Knicks.

The biggest losers have to be the Detroit Pistons. After having the worst record in the NBA this season and the equal highest odds to land the top spot and Wembanyama the Pistons ended up sliding all the way down to 5th. Houston Rockets would feel very similar as they ended with the 4th pick despite being equal favourites for the number 1 pick with the Spurs before the lottery. Both these teams would feel bitterly disappointed that they will miss on the 3 biggest talents of this year’s draft.

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About the author


Iskra had a promising, at least she believed so, tennis and volleyball careers as a junior but a series of injuries ended her hopes to become a professional athlete very early.

Instead, she focused all her energy on her other passion, writing. For over a decade, Iskra had been a freelance sports writer. Football, basketball and tennis are the main fields of her expertise.