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NBA Draft lottery: Pistons, Rockets, Spurs most likely to land Victor Wembanyama

Metropolitans 92 center Victor Wembanyama is widely considered the top prospect in the 2023 NBA Draft class. Photo by Thomas S/Wikimedia Commons
Metropolitans 92 center Victor Wembanyama is widely considered the top prospect in the 2023 NBA Draft class. Photo by Thomas S/Wikimedia Commons

May 16 (UPI) -- The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have equal odds of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft through Tuesday night's lottery. Victor Wembanyama is a near lock to be the top selection.

The lottery -- which many are calling the Wembanyama sweepstakes -- will air at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday on ESPN. The Pistons, Rockets and Spurs posted the three worst records in the NBA this season.

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Each team owns 14% odds of receiving the top pick in the draft, which will be June 22. The lottery will determine the order of the first 14 picks of the draft. Drawings will determine the first four picks, while the rest of the teams will pick from Nos. 5 through 14 based on their regular-season records -- from worst to best.

Fourteen table tennis balls -- numbered 1 through 14 -- will be placed in a lottery machine. A total of 1,000 number combinations will be assigned to the 14 teams in the lottery. Four balls will then be pulled out of the machine -- with mixing between each selection -- to determine a four-digit number that was assigned to a team. The team assigned that number will receive the top pick.

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The process will repeat for pick Nos. 2 through 4.

The Charlotte Hornets (12.5%) and Portland Trail Blazers (10.5%) also rank inside the Top 5 for the best odds to land the top pick and right to acquire Wembanyama.

The Orlando Magic (9%), Indiana Pacers (6.8%), Washington Wizards (6.7%), Utah Jazz (4.5%), Dallas Mavericks (3%), Chicago Bulls (1.8%), Oklahoma City Thunder (1.7%), Toronto Raptors (1%) and New Orleans Pelicans (0.5%) are the other lottery teams.

The Magic won last year's lottery and selected former Duke star Paolo Banchero at No. 1 overall.

Wembanyama, 19, is a center/forward from Le Chesnay, France. The 7-foot-3 star, known for rare shooting and handling ability for someone his size, averaged 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 2.5 assists per game this season for Metropolitans 92 of Betclic Elite, the top-tier men's professional league in France.

Alabama's Brandon Miller, Scoot Henderson of the G League, Central Florida's Taylor Hendricks and twins Ausar and Amen Thompson of Overtime Elite are among the other top prospects in the class.

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