Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    Wildin’ for Wembanyama

    We’re just a hair over a month away from the 2023 NBA Draft, and the most important step in the process for NBA Fans that had to witness their teams playoff-free season is finding out where they’ll pick. Unlike the NFL Draft where the tank guarantees the number one pick (which is quite coveted this year), the NBA offers no such guarantees to crappy teams. In actuality it’s the most Vegas-y feeling lottery you can imagine that will take place Tuesday night, where ping pong balls are currency and you better not see yours too early in the proceedings. This roulette junkie is fully invested!

    The elephant in the room of this draft and the consequences of the draft lottery is what I’m referring to as “Wildin’ for Wembanyana”. At 7 foot 3 (and maybe growing?) is 19-year-old French phenom Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama is a supersized, lanky athlete that can’t be pinned down to any position on the floor and is a unicorn in scouting terms. He has the ball-handling and on-court look of Kevin Durant, the grace of Dirk Nowitzki in the mid-range, and the presence down low of Kareem. As if that set of comps didn’t excite you enough for the first pick, just know he’s one of the greatest prospects in recent draft memory. Everyone is Wildin’ for Wembanyama – so who will win the first pick and have the honors of changing their franchise? 

    The Tankathon Contenders

    Detroit, 17-65, 14% (chance to win #1 pick) – There are three equally crumby NBA franchises that have the exact same odds of having the ping-pong balls fall their way, but no one is technically more deserving than the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons had decisively the worst record in the league, and they desperately need a resurgence of talent in their franchise to develop around the youngsters they’re bringing along. If the ping pong balls for Wembanyam don’t fall their way they’ll likely look at PG Scoot Henderson from the G League.

    Houston, 22-60, 14% – Definitely the most intriguing fit for Wembanyama would be in H-Town if the Rockets are lucky enough to have the balls bounce their way. Imagine a 1-2 duo of Wembanyama and Jalen Green on a high-flying Rockets team that is super young and ready to begin thriving. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the league’s next potential star in a bigger NBA market like Houston.

    San Antonio, 22-60, 14% – As for the growth, development, and talent grooming for the most exciting prospect in recent NBA history? How about pairing Victor with Greg Popovich, one of the best player developers in the game’s history? The 74-year-old Coach and President of the Spurs are definitely in his last years on the sidelines, but landing Wembanyama could suddenly put a spur in the step of Popovich and the rest of the organization. Will there be another dynasty run in San Antonio? If the Spurs aren’t so lucky, Alabama guard Brandon Miller is a likely fit at the #3 pick overall.

    The Sleepers to Land #1

    Charlotte, 27-55, 12.5% – Still holding onto a nice chunk of ping pong balls in their own right, the Hornets are the fourth favorite to land the #1 pick, and just the idea of Wembanyama entering an organization run by Michael Jordan is salivating. Could one goat pass his knowledge to the next? We can dream on Tuesday night!

    Portland, 33-49, 10.5% – Dame time paired with a 7 foot 5 monstrosity of a prospect? It’s a long shot but Lillard could be a perfect pair to lead the scoring for the franchise as an amazing prospect lands at their door.

    Orlando, 34-48, 9% – The Magic have been bringing along lots of young talent but have been a piece away from the postseason. If they hit the lottery Tuesday night they could be immediately in playoff talks next season.

    After this group of loveable NBA losers, the remaining eight teams in the Draft Lottery have slim chances of 7% or less to hit it big. Thankfully a recent rule amendment in 2017 prevents the Pistons (the worst team) from picking any lower than #5 in the draft. With that, let’s get wild and start up the lottery machine!

    Lottery Deets

    Where to Watch: Coverage begins Tuesday night at 8 pm E.T. on ESPN

    Why to Watch: Though you can be on the right or wrong side of the ping pong balls, any roulette-loving gambler loves the random nature of the lottery machine. NBA Franchises are changed on this night and it’s peak entertainment.

    What to Eat: Looking for good luck food for your team to get the best pick? The internet says to try greens or cornbread.

    NBA FAQs

    How do you win NBA pick'em pool?

    In order to win an NBA Pick'Em pool, players must have the most points at the end of the season. For each correct pick during the regular season, members will receive one point (customizable based on the pool commissioner). Some pools will choose picks based on the spread or straight up.

    What is NBA pick'em pool?

    In an NBA Pick'Em pool, players make weekly picks (either against the point spread or straight-up). The number of picks each week is customizable by the pool commissioner. Optional best-bet and confidence pick settings can be put into place as well. Commissioners can use a hosting site like RunYourPool to keep up with scoring and calculations.

    How to play an NBA basketball pool?

    The way one plays a basketball pool varies on the game type. For example, in Pick'em Pools, you simply pick every game each week.

    How to run a weekly basketball pool?

    In order to run a basketball pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    How do you win NBA Survivor Pool?

    In NBA Survivor, the last player standing wins. The name of the game is to make it to the next week. A member will select one game from all the games in that given week. If members choose the correct winner, they move on to the next week. If they pick incorrectly, they are eliminated from the contest.

    What is NBA Surivor Pool?

    In an NBA Survivor pool, players choose one NBA team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. If their pick is correct, they survive until the next week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the pool for the remainder of the season.

    What is a basketball pool?

    "Basketball Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more basketball game. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system.

    How to make a basketball pool?

    A basketball pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use basketball pool hosting services like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

    How do you win NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

    In NBA Playoff Bracket pools, the winning entry is the team with the most points at the end of Playoffs. Members try to pick the winner of each playoff series. For each series, they also pick how many games they think the series will go. Points are awarded for each winning pick, with bonus points for how close they come to the correct series length

    What is an NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

    In an NBA Playoff Bracket pool, players pick the winner of each NBA Playoff series. Commissioners can choose to have members receive bonus points for guessing the series length. Points increase as the tournament progresses (points per round are configurable by the commissioner). The winning entry is the player with the most points at the end of the playoffs.

    Are there other Playoff Pools?

    Yes! RunYourPool offers plenty of contest types for various playoff events! March Madness squares and bracket pools aer very popular among basketball fanatics, while the Super Bowl Prop Pool is the most popular annual event game.

    How to set up a basketball pool?

    To set up a basketball pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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