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Who has best odds for Wembanyama?

With the 2023 NBA draft on the horizon, all eyes are on Victor Wembanyama, the French basketball phenom who many consider the best prospect since LeBron James. At 7’3″ with a 7’9″ wingspan, Wembanyama possesses unique physical gifts and sky-high potential. His combination of size, skill, and athleticism has teams tanking harder than ever in hopes of securing the #1 pick and the chance to draft Wembanyama. But with the draft lottery introducing variance into the final order, which teams realistically have the best odds of landing the French unicorn next summer?

Why is Wembanyama considered such a special prospect?

Simply put, Wembanyama is viewed as a generational talent and a potential franchise cornerstone due to his otherworldly physical tools and budding skill set. Here’s a quick breakdown of what makes him so tantalizing to NBA teams:

  • Size – At 7’3″ with an enormous 7’9″ wingspan, Wembanyama possesses height and length that immediately set him apart from nearly every other frontcourt player in the NBA. He’s mobile and coordinated at that size, giving him unicorn potential.
  • Athleticism – Despite his height, Wembanyama is nimble and athletic. He runs the floor well, has quick leaping ability, and demonstrates good fluidity and body control for a big man.
  • Shooting – Arguably Wembanyama’s most intriguing skill is his ability to shoot. He’s a natural shooter with deep range and a quick release. Rare for a 7-footer.
  • Defense – With his size, length, and mobility, Wembanyama projects as an elite rim protector and versatile defender. He has game-changing defensive potential.
  • Upside – At just 18 years old, Wembanyama is still growing into his body and skill set. The scary thing is he still has so much room to improve his game and refine his unbelievable physical gifts.

Bottom line, Wembanyama is the full package of physical profile, skill level, and upside that teams covet in a modern big man. He has the tools to be a true two-way unicorn and future MVP if he reaches his immense potential. That’s why he is considered the best prospect since LeBron.

Current 2023 NBA Draft Lottery Odds

Heading into the 2022-23 NBA season, here are the current odds for each team to land the #1 overall pick and select Wembanyama in the 2023 draft, according to

Team Odds for #1 Pick
Houston Rockets 14%
San Antonio Spurs 14%
Detroit Pistons 14%
Orlando Magic 12.5%
Oklahoma City Thunder 11.5%
Indiana Pacers 9.0%
Portland Trail Blazers 7.5%
Sacramento Kings 4.5%
Washington Wizards 3.0%
New Orleans Pelicans 2.0%
New York Knicks 1.5%
Los Angeles Lakers 1.5%
Charlotte Hornets 1.0%
Cleveland Cavaliers 0.5%

As you can see, the teams with the best current odds of winning the lottery and drafting Wembanyama are the Rockets, Spurs, and Pistons, who are each tied with a 14% chance. The Magic (12.5%) and Thunder (11.5%) round out the top 5 teams with the best lottery odds.

However, it’s important to note that the draft lottery introduces variance, so the team with the worst record does not guarantee themselves the #1 pick. Under the current lottery rules, the three worst teams (Rockets, Spurs, Pistons) each have an equal 14% chance of winning the lottery and landing the top pick.

Teams Most Likely to Tank for Wembanyama

Based on their current roster makeup and outlooks for the 2022-23 season, these are the teams that are most likely to aggressively tank in hopes of improving their draft lottery odds for Victor Wembanyama:

Houston Rockets

After finishing last season with the NBA’s worst record, the youthful Rockets are primed to tank again for Victor. Houston kicked off a massive rebuild by trading James Harden in 2021 and have stockpiled young talent including Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and Alperen Sengun. With no incentive to win now, expect the Rockets to give their high-upside prospects plenty of developmental minutes en route to another bottom-three finish.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs pivot into a new era built around Devin Vassell, Josh Primo, and Jeremy Sochan. With veterans like Jakob Poeltl and Doug McDermott likely on the move later this season, the Spurs seem prepared to develop their young core and enhance their lottery odds to take another major swing in next year’s draft.

Detroit Pistons

After beefing up their young core by selecting Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, Detroit now boasts an impressive collection of talent including Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart. The Pistons will prioritize the development of their tantalizing prospect base, and losses will naturally pile up as a result. Detroit seems willing to be patient and enhance their lottery odds in order to land Victor in 2023.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder have quietly built up one of the deepest pools of young talent in the NBA centered around Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Chet Holmgren. With Holmgren missing his entire rookie season due to injury, OKC has even more incentive to take it slow and nail another high lottery pick in next year’s draft before ramping up to contend. The Thunder will bring along their prospects deliberately and lottery ping pong balls will accumulate.

Orlando Magic

Boasting an intriguing core of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., and others, the Magic appear set for steady development this season. Orlando has been carefully constructing a new foundation over the past few years and will be in no rush this season. Expect the Magic to take the long view, let their youngsters gel and grow, and trust the process of enhancing lottery odds for 2023.

Teams That Should Consider Stealth Tanking

While not outright tanking from day one, these teams could pivot closer to the trade deadline and make moves to marginally improve their draft odds without making it too obvious:

Indiana Pacers

After dealing away veterans Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert, the Pacers are transitioning into a new era led by Tyrese Haliburton and rookie Bennedict Mathurin. If Indiana is clearly lottery-bound later in the season, they could unload productive vets like Myles Turner and Buddy Hield at the deadline to gather more assets and slide down the standings.

Portland Trail Blazers

With Damian Lillard likely sidelined for much of the season, Portland could find themselves battling the lottery anyway. If the Blazers are well out of playoff contention at the deadline, trading solid veterans like Jerami Grant and Josh Hart would serve the dual purpose of adding future assets while organically enhancing their lottery odds. Tanking on the sly.

Utah Jazz

After trading Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz are set to reboot and start fresh around new cornerstones such as Colin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and others. If their season goes sideways early on, Utah could dangle productive pieces like Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley at the deadline as a means to both acquire building blocks and slide into better lottery odds.

New York Knicks

With Jalen Brunson now in the fold but little else in complementary talent, the new-look Knicks have the potential to disappoint. If they are well out of the postseason picture later in the year, New York could pivot from their win-now mandate and flip veterans like Julius Randle and Evan Fournier to recoup assets and improve lottery odds. A stealth tank maneuver.

Los Angeles Lakers

If injuries strike and the Lakers’ flawed roster construction leads to a slow start, Los Angeles could be faced with a conundrum. Do they keep chasing the playoff pipe dream or pivot to improve lottery odds? Trading Anthony Davis later in the year would serve the dual purpose of getting assets back for a reboot while also enhancing their draft lottery odds to get LeBron one last elite running mate.

Teams That Can’t Afford to Tank

While all teams would love to land Victor Wembanyama, these teams simply can’t afford to tank in 2022-23 due to contract situations, competitive windows, or other factors:

Milwaukee Bucks

The reigning champs are in win-now mode and built to contend around Giannis Antetokounmpo’s prime. With Middleton and Holiday in place as Robin and Batman, the Bucks will stay the course this season.

Boston Celtics

After a surprise run to the Finals last season, the Celtics are poised to contend again behind Tatum and Brown. No time for a tear down with this roster and talent base.

Memphis Grizzlies

After winning 56 games last year, the Grizzlies can’t afford to punt on maximizing their prime competitive window with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. ascending into stardom.

Philadelphia 76ers

Daryl Morey will be in win-now mode with Harden and Embiid aligned in their championship quest. No tanking here.

Phoenix Suns

With ring-chasing Chris Paul on his last legs, Phoenix is still positioned to contend around Booker, Ayton, and new addition Kevin Durant. The Suns have no time for a rebuild.

Most Likely Wembanyama Landing Spots

Based on current lottery odds and team situations, these are the five franchises most likely to land the #1 pick and the chance to draft Victor Wembanyama in June 2023:

1. Houston Rockets

Thanks to outstanding lottery luck in recent years (Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Green), Houston seems destined to win the Victor sweepstakes. They have the best lottery odds and are clearly incentivized to keep tanking. Plus, Victor would fit perfectly next to Green and Smith as a 7-foot unicorn.

2. San Antonio Spurs

With a great prospect base already being developed and Popovich nearing retirement, the timing is right for one more tank job leading to a franchise-altering talent infusion via Wembanyama. The Spurs know how to rebuild through the draft.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

Having already stockpiled a motherlode of future picks, the Thunder are poised to be big players whenever a special prospect like Victor emerges. They have the organizational patience for a tank and the draft capital to make other roster upgrades down the road.

4. Detroit Pistons

A core built around Cade Cunningham and Wembanyama is a dream scenario for Detroit. The Pistons already have young talent in place and will happily lose lots of games to form one of the league’s most tantalizing tandems.

5. Orlando Magic

The Magic have methodically built through the draft with a string of high picks in recent years. But landing Victor would fast-track their rebuild in a big way. He’d be an ideal running mate for frontcourt cornerstones Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.


Victor Wembanyama represents a potential franchise-altering talent, and numerous teams will jockey for lottery position with the hopes of drafting him in 2023. While the Rockets, Spurs and Pistons currently have the most favorable odds to land him, other teams like the Thunder, Magic and Pistons are well-positioned to tank outright or stealth tank later in the season in order to vault up the lottery board.

However, some teams simply can’t afford to sacrifice wins and draft capital, no matter how tantalizing Wembanyama’s upside appears. With the lottery still introducing variance, only one lucky franchise will ultimately get to select the French phenom next June and change their franchise’s fortunes in an instant. Tanking efforts for Victor will make the 2022-23 NBA season among the most high-stakes and competitive ones ever for lottery positioning.