On Tuesday night, the full 2023 NBA Draft order will be determined via the draft lottery. However, this night also marks the start of something magical for one franchise, as whoever ends up with the top pick in this year's draft gets Victor Wembanyama.
There are always questions being asked about who could potentially go first overall in the draft, especially the last few seasons with the amount of talent at the top. This year though, there is no discussion on who will go first. Wembanyama is a generational talent that this league has never seen and his presence on any roster instantly makes them a playoff threat.
Standing 7-foot-4 with a reported 8-foot wingspan, the French big man is extremely unique simply because of the kind of player he is. Wembanyama is a center who can bring the ball up the floor and initiate his team's offense, he can pull up and shoot from the perimeter, he can attack the lanes and get to the hoop and perhaps the best thing about the 19-year-old is that he is still growing as a player. There is no question that Wembanyama is the greatest draft prospect this league has seen since LeBron James in 2003 and this is not an overstatement.
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant are all Top-10, superstar talents in this league that Wembanyama is having different aspects of his game compared to right now and there are some who are even comparing him to the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! Whoever ends up with the top pick at Tuesday's draft lottery will have everything they need to immediately make themselves a contending threat in their conference.
The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs all own the best odds at landing the first overall pick via the lottery and all three of these teams find themselves in the midst of a rebuild.
Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey highlight a young and athletic roster that could very much take the next step and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2019 with the addition of Wembanyama. For the Rockets, they will be looking to change their recent fortunes quickly with a young roster that will now be led by former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. In San Antonio, nothing has gone right since Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker retired and they have now missed the postseason for four consecutive seasons after never missing the playoffs in back-to-back years. Detroit, Houston and San Antonio instantly have a real shot at making the playoffs if they end up with the top pick.
Going down the list of teams with a chance at winning the lottery this year, a lot of problems can be fixed for the Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards if they end up with the French phenom. The Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic can continue their growth as young organizations, making a real push towards the playoffs, and then there are teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans. While they own slim odds to land the top pick in the draft, all they would do is smile knowing they just went from being on the verge of decline to being right back in the mix for winning their conference if they were to win the lottery.
The 2023 NBA Draft may very well be the most important draft the league has seen in years simply because of the impact that Wembanyama's arrival will make for any franchise in this league. We have truly never seen a player like him before and he will make his presence felt in this league from his very first game.
His unique ability to truly play anywhere on the floor is what makes being awarded with this top pick so valuable. Wembanyama can play alongside another center in the NBA, he can be the center for his team and the offense can flow through him. Defensively, he will be a Defensive Player of the Year at least once in his career and it is a very strong possibility that Wembanyama receives consideration for All-Defensive team honors during his rookie campaign. There really isn't anything the soon-to-be number one overall pick cannot do, which is why Tuesday's lottery is vital for the future of several organizations.
Everything that you have heard about Wembanyama's potential entering this draft is true. He has a chance to truly change the league and in the process, change whatever organization that drafts him for the better.