NBA Draft Lottery 2023 Draws Fifth-Largest Audience Last 20 Years


The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN’s broadcast drew the fifth-largest audience over the last 20 years. An estimated 3.24 million viewers tuned in to watch this year’s draft lottery. The San Antonio Spurs won the first overall selection. They are projected to draft top prospect Victor Wembanyama.

Other most-viewed NBA Draft Lottery telecasts over the last 20 years include ABC’s in 2003 with 6 million viewers (LeBron James), ESPN’s in 2019 with 4.4 million viewers (Zion Williamson), ESPN’s in 2015 with 3.6 million viewers (Karl-Anthony Towns), and ESPN’s in 2014 with 3.4 million viewers (Andrew Wiggins).

Referring to a few NBA betting sites, Scoot Henderson has the best odds of becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Brandon Miller is projected to go third overall.

ESPN drew the best NBA Draft Lottery audience since 2019, when Zion Williamson was the projected No. 1 pick. About 4.43 million viewers tuned in to watch the draft lottery four years ago. Compared to last year’s event, this year’s draft lottery saw a 2.15 million-viewership increase.

Moreover, the cost of Spurs tickets increased substantially on Tuesday after the Silver and Black earned the No. 1 overall selection for next month’s draft. Online traffic for Spurs tickets jumped 2,200% after San Antonio won the draft lottery, according to Vivid Seats.

Per the Spurs ticket office, deposits for new season tickets began rolling in just minutes after the draft lottery announcement Tuesday night. There were 2,000 new season ticket packages ordered within the first 12 hours following the announcement.

2023 NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN’s broadcast drew 3.24 million viewers, the fifth-largest audience over the past 20 years

“People talk about generational talent, and they only think on-court skill, but it’s bigger than that,” Spurs general manager Brian Wright said on Victor Wembanyama after winning the first overall selection.

“His ability to be a great teammate, his ability to think the game, unique challenges, you see him doing things that you wouldn’t even have guessed someone could do. His approach, his professionalism.”

While with the Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro A on Nov. 4, 2022, Wembanyama scored a career-high 33 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in a 78-69 win over Limoges CSP.

NBA executives are calling Wembanyama a “generational talent,” just like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Therefore, this 2023 NBA Draft Lottery could be one to remember.

At the 2022 LNB All-Star Game, the French basketball star recorded 27 points, 12 boards, and four assists in a 136-128 win over the World team. The 7-foot-4 power forward/center became the game’s youngest MVP.

In 34 starts with the Metros, Wembanyama averaged career highs of 21.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 32.1 minutes per game. Plus, he shot 47% from the field and a career-best 80.9% at the foul line.

Additionally, Wembanyama led the LNB Pro A in points (731), total rebounds (354), and blocks (103). Not to mention, he was the leader in games played (34), minutes (1,092), field goals (255), and field goal attempts (542).

Wembanyama was named Pro A MVP, Best Scorer, and Best Defender. Also, he received his third Pro A Best Young Player award and first Pro A All-First-Team selection.

The 2023 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 22.

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