Rovell: Victor Wembanyama Is Worth $16 Million For Spurs in 2023

Rovell: Victor Wembanyama Is Worth $16 Million For Spurs in 2023 article feature image
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The Spurs have won the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery and the rights to draft Victor Wembanyama.

It's a near certainty that the 7-foot-5 sharpshooter who can dribble, pass, rebound and cut will go No. 1 to the Spurs. For reference, FanDuel's odds that Wembanyama goes No. 1 overall are -20000 — implying a 99.5% probability.

He's the most hyped prospect since LeBron James in 2003. Some indications have suggested his hype even surpasses that of King James.

For the Spurs, Wembanyama is estimated to bring $16 million to the team — immediately.

That's per sourcing from NBA executives, ticket brokers and other insiders the Action Network spoke to this week.

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The estimate only considers what drafting Wembanyama is worth now and doesn't account for future team success.

The $16 million the Spurs made with tonight's draft lottery was just ninth-highest out of lottery teams, according to sources. When the Spurs are solid, or if there's something cool to watch (68,323 packed the Alamodome this year for a game against the Warriors), fans show up in San Antonio. But the Spurs have to rely on local crowds because the destination and tourist crowd aren't reliable.

Still, this is a team that saw 8% of their tickets unsold last season. That gap figures to close on account of Wembanyama's arrival, garnering several extra million in revenue.

The Spurs had a 14% chance to attain the No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday night. The Pistons and Rockets had 14% chances to win the Wembanyama sweepstakes, too.

It's bad news for the Charlotte Hornets, who had far and away the most to lose during this lottery and finished with the No. 2 overall pick. The Hornets had the fourth-best odds at 12.5% to win the No. 1 overall pick.

Had Michael Jordan and the Hornets won this pick, they'd have gained about $280 million in value, according to sources.

That's on account of the fact that Jordan is actively trying to sell the team. If Wembanyama became the Hornets' franchise guy, sources indicated the franchise could have jumped in value from $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion.

At Jordan's 70% ownership of the team, he could have cashed in to the tune of an additional $280 million. So close.

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