Spurs Win Lottery; Mavericks Pick 10th

Dallas Mavericks NBA Draft Lottery | Image by Dallas Mavericks, Twitter

The Dallas Mavericks will have the 10th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Dallas entered Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery with a 3% chance of landing the first overall pick and a 65.9% chance of landing where it did.

Had the pick fallen outside the top 10, it would have been traded to the New York Knicks as part of last year’s Kristaps Porzingis trade.

“I kept thinking that as long as I don’t see the New York logo, then I’m good,” Mavericks General Manager Nico Harrison joked as he met reporters. “I really couldn’t hear very well, so I was just looking for the logo. Once I saw 11, and I didn’t see the New York logo, I was like, ‘Alright. We at least got 10. Now I’m playing with house money.'”

While rumors have begun to swirl about the Mavericks possibly trading their selection, Harrison says the real work is just beginning.

“I’m excited; now we have a target to start really diving into,” he remarked. “We’ve played Sims City for the last month and a half, but now it’s real, so you can really dive into it, and now you can really start planning.”

“It’s still yet to be determined who will be available at 10, and I think that’s where the real work really starts over the next few weeks because you can like a guy and look at the mock drafts and say, ‘He’s 12’ but start to work him out and be like, ‘Whoa. He’s better than we thought,’ and now that guy’s like five,” Harrison added. “So the work really starts now.”

The first overall pick was awarded to the San Antonio Spurs, who entered the lottery tied with Detroit and Houston with the best odds of landing the pick at 14% after finishing the season with a 22-60 record.

“The team and the city that sticks with us and put so much effort and love into the organization, it’s just amazing for them to get rewarded,” said Spurs Managing Partner Peter J. Holt in a press release from the team.

“So many folks have been with us a long time, and now everybody can feel rewarded and excited. My joy was a ‘we’ type of fun and joy.”

Houston ended up with the fourth overall pick after being jumped by Charlotte and Portland, while Detroit, the worst team in the NBA by record during the 2022-23 season, fell to the fifth overall selection.

San Antonio will almost certainly select France’s Victor Wembanyama, a 19-year-old, 7-foot-4 phenom who has been called the best prospect since LeBron James.

The Spurs will be selecting first overall for the third time since joining the NBA, having previously picked Hall-of-Famers Tim Duncan (1997) and David Robinson (1987).

Wembanyama has ties to the Spurs as he spent time with ASVEL, a EuroLeague team owned by French basketball legend and former Spurs point guard Tony Parker.

“There’s a special relationship between France and the Spurs because of Tony and [former Spur] Boris [Diaw],” Wembanyama told the NBA. “I know half the country, maybe, if not the whole country, wanted the Spurs to have the first pick. So I was looking at everyone; everyone in the room was happy, and I was too.”

The 2023 NBA Draft is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, June 22, at the Barclays Center in New York.

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