Tank Watch: After the trade deadline, which teams are in a favorable spot to land Victor Wembanyama?

Victor Wembanyama is dominating the French league, Betclic Élite, leading all players in points (22.2 per game), rebounds (9.5) and blocked shots (3.1). The 7-foot-4 center continues to improve aspects of his game that will make him a threat in the NBA in less than a year, and he showcased one of his most complete games in a recent win over Dijon in which he helped his team come from behind and finished with 29 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

Through trades in the offseason and during the trade deadline, a handful of teams are currently in good position to land Wembanyama in June. The NBA Draft lottery is May 16. The three teams with the worst records all have a 14% chance of adding Wembanyama to their franchises.

As the race to the bottom continues heading into the All-Star break, Yahoo Sports takes a look at six teams that could land Wembanyama and how the season is shaping up.

Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitans 92 shoots a free throw against Dijon at in Levallois-Perret, France, on Feb. 10, 2023. (Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitans 92 shoots a free throw against Dijon on Friday at Palais des Sports Marcel Cerdan. (Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

(Records through Feb. 16 games; odds to land No. 1 pick from Tankathon.)

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1. Houston Rockets

Current record: 13-45

Odds to land No. 1 pick: 14%

The Rockets were very active during the trade deadline and initially brought in four veteran players they really didn't need, along with two future second-round picks. The front office waived John Wall and Danny Green and bought out Justin Holiday's contract; Frank Kaminsky logged his first minutes with the team in a loss to the 76ers on Monday.

Houston is in full rebuild mode with a promising young core of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jabari Smith Jr. Green recently recorded his fourth career 40-point game in which he finished with 41 points in a loss to Sacramento earlier this month. Adding Wembanyama to this group next season would give them the defensive versatility they're missing and more length in the frontcourt alongside 6-foot-11 Alperen Sengun. The Rockets are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, but oddly enough, they're second in defensive rebounds, thanks to the length and athleticism of their young group of players. The Rockets have lost seven in a row and have a tough stretch of games in March, giving them a good shot at landing Wembanyama in four months.


2. San Antonio Spurs

Current record: 14-45

Odds to land No. 1 pick: 14%

The Spurs might not have the worst record in the NBA (yet), but they are currently the worst team in the league, having lost their past 14 games. Gregg Popovich's squad ranks dead last in points per game, total assists, field goals made, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

During the trade deadline, San Antonio waived Stanley Johnson and traded veterans Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson. In return, the Spurs received center Khem Birch, the Raptors' 2024 first-round pick (top-six protected) and their 2023/2024 second-round picks.


The Spurs are currently without starting point guard Tre Jones, who left the most recent game against the Cavaliers due to a foot injury, and Devin Vassell (knee) and Romeo Langford (thigh) have been sidelined since January. This painful rebuild season could all be worth it if the ping-pong balls fall in San Antonio's favor.

3. Detroit Pistons

Current record: 15-44

Odds to land No. 1 pick: 14%

Pistons fans knew where this season was headed when it was announced in November that Cade Cunningham would be out for the season due to a shin injury that required surgery. During the trade deadline, Detroit traded forward Saddiq Bey and acquired center James Wiseman in a four-team deal involving the Hawks, Warriors and Trail Blazers. Wiseman has been dealing with various injuries since he was selected as the No. 2 pick in 2020 but is still young and has potential as an elite rim-protector.


Rookie Jaden Ivey is showing promise as a long-term scorer and playmaker in the league, leading all rookies in assists (253) and sitting third in total points (838). A healthy Cunningham returning next season and possibly adding Wembanyama in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop situations would give the Pistons the final piece to the slow rebuild process. Wembanyama is currently shooting only 28% from 3-point range, but his shooting mechanics and instincts are there, and given his 8-foot wingspan, his shot is almost impossible to guard.

4. Charlotte Hornets

Current record: 17-43

Odds to land No. 1 pick: 12.5%


Last season, the Hornets finished with a winning record (43-39) for the first time since the 2015-16 season. This season, the Hornets have taken two steps back with point guard LaMelo Ball starting the year with an ankle injury and not much productivity coming from any other player on offense or defense outside of Ball and Terry Rozier, who is leading the team in points, assists and steals.

The Hornets had a positive night Feb. 13, with a win over the Hawks and Ball becoming the first player in franchise history to record a 3-pointer in 47 consecutive games (and counting). Ball is the youngest player in NBA history to record a streak of at least 35 games, and his now 48-game stretch represents the third-longest active span in the NBA, trailing Portland’s Damian Lillard and Golden State's Steph Curry. After the win over the Hawks, Ball is also now the fourth-youngest NBA player to record a game with 30 points, 15 assists and five rebounds, joining Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Atlanta's Trae Young and Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox.

There are a lot of positives surrounding the Hornets' star player, but it hasn't translated to winning yet. Adding Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller, or Amen or Ausar Thompson would be a step in the right direction as the Hornets continue to rebuild and try to become contenders in the Eastern Conference.

5. Orlando Magic

Current record: 24-35


Odds to land No. 1 pick: 10.5%

Wembanyama has put up 437-plus points and 64-plus blocks in the first 20 games to start a season; the last NBA player to record similar numbers was Shaquille O'Neal in 2000. The Magic drafted O'Neal with the No. 1 overall pick in 1992, and it worked out pretty well for the franchise as he reached the playoffs in four consecutive seasons and took the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995.

The Magic selected Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft and would love to add Wembanyama's defensive versatility in the frontcourt alongside Banchero. The former Duke forward is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year and leads all rookies in points (1,033), minutes played (1,754) and field goals (338). The Magic already have a ton of length with 6-foot-10 Banchero, 7-2 Bol Bol, 6-10 Wendell Carter Jr., 6-10 Franz Wagner and 6-11 Moritz Wagner. It would be quite a lineup if the Magic added Wembanyama to this group.

6. Indiana Pacers

Current record: 26-34


Odds to land No. 1 pick: 9%

Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin are two young stars in the making and have a ton of potential as an elite backcourt duo for the Pacers. Haliburton was named an NBA All-Star for the first time, and Mathurin was named to the NBA Rising Stars team and is one of the most productive rookies this year, averaging 17.2 points and 4.1 rebounds.

The Pacers have hit a slump since the new year, winning six of their past 23 games. The organization isn't in complete rebuild mode like a few other teams but needs another season or two to put everything together. Sitting at a 9% chance to land a generational-type talent such as Wembanyama isn't a bad spot to be in, either. Stranger things have happened on draft lottery night.