The Toronto Raptors have a slim chance of Victor Wembanyama in the NBA lottery

Teams have won with similar odds, but that doesn’t happen often

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There have been some major NBA draft sweepstakes over the years — think anticipation of LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, or Patrick Ewing — but Tuesday’s ping-pong ball extravaganza could one day be seen as just as influential become like everyone else before.

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Because the rights to Victor Wembanyama, a player who is considered the best young basketball player since LeBron James, are up for grabs this year.

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A lucky team will instantly acquire a unique offspring who is now at 7ft 5, 220lbs, dribbles and kicks the ball like a guard and won’t turn 20 until January.

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The Frenchman has been playing against pros for a while and holding his own, and he can step in immediately and change the perception, value and competitiveness of an NBA franchise.

For a number of teams this season, being in the race for Wembanyama was more important than actually being in the playoff race. Their Super Bowl is Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET in Chicago.

The Detroit Pistons have won just 17 games, while Houston and San Antonio have won just 22 each, but under the NBA’s recently revised lottery rules, both have a 14% chance of picking the No. 1 spot. Charlotte (12.5%), Portland (10.5%), Orlando (9%), Indiana (6.8%), Washington (6.7%), Utah (4.5%) and Dallas (3%) ) round out the top 10 by odds.

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The Raptors could have been in that mix, but instead chose to try to make the play-in tournament (which they succeeded) and make the playoffs beyond (which they failed), and ended up having second worst Odds of landing Wembanyama all lottery teams with only 1%.

Toronto also has a 1.1% chance of finishing No. 2, 1.2% of No. 3, 1.4% of No. 4, a 2.3% chance of returning to No. 14, and one 92.9% chance of staying at No. . 13.

The Raptors have won the NBA lottery just once and used their 8.8% odds to advance before finally suffering a bad call in selecting Andrea Bargnani.

There have already been impressive advances, notably Chicago in 2005 (1.7% rate, future MVP Derrick Rose), Orlando in 1993 (1.52%, Chris Webber), Cleveland in 2011 (2.8%, Kyrie Irving). ) and the Cavaliers again in 2014 (1.7). %, Andrew Wiggins). So we’re saying there’s a chance, Raptors fans — just not a very good one.

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The good news for the many teams who will be devastated at missing Wembanyama is that unlike some years, this is considered a strong draft at the top, even beyond the big man. While next year’s draft is considered a poor draft at this point, the 2023 edition is viewed by scouts, executives and media pundits as more on par with the 2021 edition which produced a solid group at the helm like Cade Cunningham, rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes of the Raptors, Evan Mobley, Franz Wagner and Josh Giddey.

This year, Guard Scoot Henderson and Forward Brandon Miller are considered much more than potential consolation prizes. There’s also forward Cam Whitmore and twins Amen and Ausar Thompson expected to make the top 10, along with other interesting contenders.

Some of the players are currently competing in the NBA combine including rising Scarborough native Leonard Miller, who spent last season in the G League and impressed late in the year.

But make no mistake, Wembanyama is the price. He’s a player who’s gone viral many times because basketball players just don’t look like him. Precursors to Wembanyama like Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant were six feet tall at best. Neither was spotted repelling his own three-point miss with a slam dunk back like Wembanyama did a few months ago when he went viral again.

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At the age of 14, Wembanyama left home to prepare for the NBA stage. Since then he has not disappointed. The only risk is the same as for anyone that big. Can he stay healthy?

Yao Ming would have been an all-time star if his 1.9m physique had lasted rather than being limited to fewer than 600 games. Ralph Sampson, 7ft 4, had a similar story, but others like Mark Eaton, Shawn Bradley, Manute Bol and Rik Smits had long NBA careers and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Kristaps Porzingis, both 7ft 3, have rebounded from one of them had to endure a multitude of injuries at the beginning of their time in the NBA in order to be successful.

Still, last year’s No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren, who drafted 9 feet 10 and weighed 200 pounds, was injured almost immediately and missed the entire season, while Greg Oden 2007 Durant was the next big Players of the NBA replaced Mann, I kept breaking down before I retired.

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Despite this history, there’s no chance Wembanyama won’t finish first in the standings. And whichever city he lands in, there’s going to be quite a party.

Who has much to lose if the balls don’t bounce their way?

Detroit has been in the process of rebuilding for some time and desperately needs a superstar to complement former No. 1 pick Cunningham to revitalize a once-proud franchise. Houston also stumbled for a while. Dallas needs a miracle to keep Luka Doncic happy and will only keep the pick if he stays in 10th place or moves higher. Otherwise, New York will get it through the Porzingis deal that was concluded years ago.

Chicago (rate 1.8%) needs to break into the top 4 or else Orlando will give the choice.

Check out our sports section for the latest news and analysis. Want a bet? Visit our sports betting section for news and odds.


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