Victor Wembanyama is headed to the Alamo. The San Antonio Spurs won Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery and the right to select the French sensation in next month’s draft.
Spurs Managing Partner Peter J. Holt, who represented the team on stage at the lottery reveal, shouted with joy when the results were announced. “I might faint, I’m so excited,” said Holt, whose team had a 14% chance of winning the lottery.
Wembanyama, who was watching with family and friends in France at 2:30 a.m. local time, made it clear he was ready to get to his new home. “I’m trying to win a ring ASAP,” the teenager told ESPN.
While the fans in San Antonio deservedly celebrate, Wembanyama won’t officially join the Spurs until the NBA Draft takes place on June 22. Wembanyama will finish out his time with the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, which are headed to the LNB Pro A playoffs after finishing second in the French league’s regular season.
FOS senior writer Owen Poindexter explained the massive hype surrounding Wembanyama on Tuesday’s Front Office Sports Today podcast.
The Spurs will no doubt start utilizing the prospect of Wembanyama to energize their fan base and boost morale for next season. San Antonio ranked 25th in NBA attendance this past season with an average of just under 17,000 fans at the AT&T Center, about 92% of the arena’s capacity.
Keep an eye on Spurs’ season ticket sales numbers in the aftermath of the lottery win, and don’t be surprised to see new corporate partners come on board to join the Wemby hype train.