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With Free Agency Starting Thursday Night, 2023 Tanking Is Well Under Way, And For A Very Good Reason

And one player in particular

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Real Madrid v LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Victor Wembanyama of LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne in action during the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague match between Real Madrid and LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne at Wizink Center on March 17, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.
Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With the NBA draft behind us and free agency season kicking off Thursday night at 6:00 EST, it’s time to acknowledge and important truth: this draft is going to be all about Frenchman Victor Wembanyama.

Keep in mind that the 7-2 wunderkind has a lot in common with this year’s unicorn, Chet Holmgren and that Houston may well get the #1 pick. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

He’s probably the reason why San Antonio traded rising star Dejounte Murray to the Hawks. They’ll get three #1 picks back from the Hawks - next year’s and then in 2025 and 2027. They’ll swap one in 2026.

The various permutations of draft picks gets hard to follow but we think Atlanta traded one they got from Charlotte which means the Spurs have reasonable odds of a high pick. And since they appear to be blowing up their team they may end up with two lottery picks.

There’s no guarantee they’d get #1 of course, but it’s looking like a strong draft. Maybe they could get a shot at Dariq Whitehead, Dereck Lively or possibly, if the stars aligned just right, both Thompson twins, Amen and Ausar, two wildly athletic wings.

But here’s the thing: you know how, every so often, we get that NBA conspiracy theory that the draft is rigged?

The NBA might like to honor San Antonio’s great big man tradition, but they’d rather have a transformational player in a major market.

Like, say, New York.

You heard it here first.

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