The Dallas Mavericks had a nervous lottery night. They owed their first round pick to the Knicks if it fell outside the top ten, but Dallas held at ten to narrowly keep the selection. It was massive as the team looks to build around Luka Doncic. They need upgrades, and they are expected to shop the tenth pick to see what they can land.
The Spurs were the massive winners on Tuesday night. They got the first overall pick and the right to draft French prodigy Victor Wembanyama. It was San Antonio’s night, and the franchise will again have a generational big man to build their roster around for the next 15 years.
Wemby has been the talk of the league all season. He was not in Chicago on May 16 because his French team had a game earlier in the day. ESPN sent Brian Windhorst to France for an interview with the 7’5 big man on the telecast, and the ESPN scribe talked about his reaction when hearing the Mavs would select tenth overall on the Hoop Collective podcast.
Victor Wembanyama's reaction to Dallas Mavericks selecting 10th is worth remembering
Wembanyama knew that he was headed to whatever team won the lottery, and the teenager had clearly played out the scenarios in his head. Windhorst had this to say about the moment that deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announced that the Mavs would select tenth overall.
"Would Dallas move up? Victor definitely reacted when Dallas came up because obviously, he knew that playing with Luka Doncic would be fascinating. That was a discussion that I had with his agents was what happens if Dallas wins."
Windhorst noted that the expected number one pick did not react to several teams, but “he raised his eyebrows and gave a look” when the Mavericks were called. The ESPN scribe had this to say about Wembanyama thinking about playing with Luka in Dallas.
"There was some interest. When Mark Tatum held up number ten, the room tightened a little bit because that was a thing."
Victor Wembanyama had interest in being a co-star next to Doncic on the Mavericks. Windhorst was in the room with the soon-to-be number one pick and his family during the lottery announcement, and he got the sense that everyone there was intrigued by the possibility. He wants to be the face of the franchise, and he is happy to be heading to San Antonio, but Dallas interested him.
It is worth remembering moving forward. Victor Wembanyama is locked in with the San Antonio Spurs for at least the next six years, but player movement happens frequently in the NBA. Could the European duo team up someday? It is not out of the question. Wemby wants to play with Luka, and if he blossoms, every player in the league will want to play next to Victor.
Fans were dreaming alongside Victor Wembanyama of the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, but it did not happen. Instead, the franchise will select tenth overall as Wembanyama heads to the in-state rival Spurs. Expect plenty of battles over the years between the two, and remember that the soon-to-be number-one overall pick wanted to play with Luka Doncic in the years ahead.