San Antonio Spurs will have two top-10 picks in 2024 NBA Draft

The ping pong balls bounced favorably for the Spurs at Sunday’s NBA Draft Lottery

Victor Wembanyama poses for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo, Associated Press)

SAN ANTONIO – In May 2023, the San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Draft Lottery after being tied with two other franchises for the best odds to earn the rights to the No. 1 overall draft pick.

One year after drafting No. 1 overall, the Silver and Black earned two top-10 picks in the first round: No. 4 and No. 8 overall.

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San Antonio earned Toronto’s pick Sunday in the lottery after receiving a first-round selection from the Raptors at the 2023 NBA trade deadline for former Spurs center Jakob Poeltl.

While it would have been a dream sequence for the Spurs to be awarded the top pick in back-to-back years, the odds of such a feat are slim. Only the Houston Rockets (1983 and 1984) and Orlando Magic (1992 and 1993) had the good fortune of drafting first in consecutive years.

There were plenty of surprises at Sunday’s lottery aside from the Spurs getting a second lotto selection. As expected, Houston’s own No. 12 lottery pick was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder thanks to its 2019 trade of guard Russell Westbrook to Houston. However, the Rockets had an insurance policy.

In its Jan. 2021 trade with the Brooklyn Nets, Houston sent guard James Harden to Brooklyn. In return, the Rockets received a package centered around three first-round selections from Brooklyn, including the Nets’ 2024 first-rounder. As luck would have it, that Nets first-round pick netted the Rockets the No. 3 pick in next month’s draft.

While Detroit and Washington entered Sunday as the two teams with the best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick, Washington earned the No. 2 pick. The Pistons slid down the board to No. 5.

No surprise was bigger than Atlanta’s rise. The Hawks had a 3% chance of earning the top pick, and that’s exactly what happened. Atlanta will draft first overall for the first time in its history.

The full 14-pick lottery is as follows: Atlanta, Washington, Houston, San Antonio, Detroit, Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio, Memphis, Utah, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Sacramento and Portland.

As we knew then and have been assured now, the Spurs won the ultimate jackpot by winning the opportunity to draft the French “alien.” So, this time around, the goal is to build around Victor Wembanyama.

Wembanyama is the newly named 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year and finished runner-up in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting. However, the Wembanyama-led Spurs still have a lot to accomplish this offseason if they want his success to convert to the winning column.

San Antonio will likely focus on elevating the point guard position this offseason. The Spurs’ coaching staff made many attempts at filling this void this season in the era of “position-less basketball.” Still, a shortfall in the position remains.

One of the best point guards available in this year’s draft is Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham (6′3″, 176 pounds). Dillingham wrapped up his freshman season with the Wildcats, where he primarily came off the bench but still averaged 15.2 points and 3.9 assists in 23 minutes per game. The Hickory, North Carolina, native is an obvious fit for the Spurs, who need proficient guard play and someone who can run the offense.

Other top point guards available in the draft are Nikola Topic from Serbia, Stephon Castle from UConn, Isaiah Collier from USC and Jared McCain from Duke.

There is no clear-cut top prospect currently, but Alexandre Sarr (PF/C, Perth Wildcats) out of France makes a strong case for the first overall selection. Sarr is 7-foot-1 and, at 18 years old, has the highest upside defensively.

Sarr is one of a handful of French prospects valued high in this year’s draft, including Zaccharie Risacher and Tidjane Salaun. Risacher (SG/SF, JL Bourg-en-Bresse) is a proven scorer, making 43.8% of his long-range shots as a 6-foot-8 wing.

The talent from France was proven when Wembanyama and fellow French big Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves finished 1-2 for this year’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

The 2024 NBA Draft is June 26-27 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Day 1 of the draft can be seen live on KSAT 12.

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About the Authors

Mary Rominger is KSAT 12 Sports' first full-time female sports anchor and reporter. She came to San Antonio from Mankato, Minn., where she worked as a weekend sports anchor at KEYC News Now. She has a journalism degree from Iowa State University and grew up in Southern California. Mary enjoys golfing, sports and finding new spots around town.

Nate Kotisso joined KSAT as a digital journalist in 2024. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Rio Grande Valley for more than two years and spent nearly three years as a digital producer at the CBS station in Oklahoma City.

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