The 2014-2015 NBA season is barely over, yet in a way the 2015-2016 is about to begin already.
On the 19th of May, the NBA will be holding it’s annual NBA Draft Lottery, an event which may dictate the future of some NBA Franchises.
Let’s clear somethings up first, because not all of the readers here are basketball junkies who understand the all the ins and outs of the NBA and have a life.
The NBA gets a new influx of talent every year via the NBA draft in which all of the 30 NBA franchises take turns in picking players who qualify for the draft.
Players who qualify for the draft are either:
a) met the requirements to be auto-eligible or
b) processed the requirements for an early entry
(For these details, I’ll go over again when we talk exclusively about the NBA Draft itself.)
Once the teams pick a player, the team will own the exclusive rights to sign a player to a contract. This means that no other team will be able to offer a contract to that player to play in the NBA.
The next concern is: How does the NBA determine who gets to pick first and so on?
Basically, the Draft order is based on a team’s win/loss record from the following year. If you had a good season, you get a low draft pick. This is why the Golden State Warriors, who had a league best (xx-yy) record in the 2014-2015 season have the 30th pick in the draft.
However, this does NOT mean that the Timberwolves, who finished with a league worst 16-66 record (bless their young souls), get the Top pick.
If it were straight up like that, it would cause an incentive for purposely losing aka “Tanking”. The NBA prevents tanking by applying a “Draft Lottery system”.
(For those who are screaming “SIXERS!”, yes we know they are tanking anyways. No system is tanking proof, but imagine how bad the tanking would be WITHOUT the lottery.).
The “Lottery” system is a mechanism which is used to reorder the Top 3 picks of the draft and is participated by the 14 teams that didn’t make the NBA Playoffs. Think of it as some kind of consolation prize.
The basic idea is that the NBA will select 3 teams out of a box and those will be the teams with the third, second, and first overall pick in the NBA Draft in that order. The rest of the draft will be according to the team’s records order.
However, one catch is that the team with the worst record will have a higher chance of winning the lottery with the chances descending with each teams record.
For Example, the Wolves (bless their poor poor souls) will have the highest chances of getting the 1st overall pick at 25%. The Knick’s will have 19.9% with the leagues second worst record. All the way down at the bottom will be the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 0.5% chance of winning the prize. Pretty easy to understand right?
The exact process of the lottery has been something that has always struck conspiracy among fans. The NBA has changed from envelopes to pingpong balls to even MORE ping pong balls. There is still a question as to WHY the ping pong ball selection has to be done behind closed walls and later announced, but that’s a question no one knows the answer to.
One common trend around this season are the fans that are on the look out for conspiracy theories circling the fact that the NBA is staged and the lottery is rigged. Who is to blame them?
In 1985, the first NBA lottery there are numerous footages of evidence that the Knick’s evelope had a crease in it, which would make it easier to pick out their envelope and give them the “Patrick Ewing” Lottery.
In 1992, the Orlando Magic weren’t having much success as an expansion franchise as their crosstown expansion franchise rival, the Miami Heat. The NBA needed to save them before it would be harder for the league to expand. Giving the Lottery to draft Shaq was a nice start.
In 1993, the Magic are back at it. Shaq brought life to Orlando and they were on the rise. Maybe the NBA thought that Chicago was making the league too boring by winning all the games so they decided to create a super team to withstand MJ and his powers. Say hello to a consecutive First Overall pick. The Magic traded their pick (Chris Webber) for Penny Hardaway and things got a whole lot better for the Magic and brought some competition for the Bulls.
Sorry, wrong year.
2003. LeBron James a kid out of Akron, Ohio. A once in a life time prodigy entering the draft. You know what team is in Ohio? The Cleveland Cavaliers. BOOM.
5 years later in 2008, the tape would rewind itself. Derrick Rose, a homegrown Chicagoian was entering the draft. Despite having only a 1.7% chance to win, the Bulls franchise that had been struggling since the Air Jordan days suddenly won the Lottery and a chance to draft a homegrown superstar.
Not long after LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and left Cleveland in ruins, the Cavs won the Lottery via a pick traded from the Los Angeles Clippers and used it to draft 2011’s next big thing, Kyrie Irving.
In 2011, the Hornets were in a bad state after Star Chris Paul forced his way out of the team. Maybe the NBA felt sorry for them and eventually gave them the Number One pick which would turnout to be super alien franchise player, Anthony Davis.
Everything just looks too good to be true. And maybe they are.
So let’s say that the NBA lottery IS rigged and that Adam Silver (not the shear luck of ping pong balls falling the right way) determines who will get the first pick. Which team then has the best claim to be awarded with the Top Overall pick? Let’s go through each teams case one by one.
Minnesota Timberwolves (16-66)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Maybe Adam Silver feels guilty that since the Wolves joined the league, no matter how horrible they have been (and they have been horrible), they have never got the top overall pick. Andrew Wiggins doesn’t count because the Wolves did pick him. Maybe Silver will realize that it’s about goddamn time.
WHY THEY WON’T: The Wolves have never won the Lottery. Ever. If a team hasn’t won the lottery for almost 25 years, you stop blaming luck and realize that you are cursed. At this point, I don’t even know why the Wolves send representatives to this event anymore.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: The unsurprised depression in any Wolves fans eyes, when they learn that the Wolves didn’t win the Lottery AGAIN.
New York Knicks (17-65)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Pity. Adam Silver looks at the Knick’s Roster then their Payroll. He then remembers when Golden State took Steph Curry 1 pick ahead of the Knicks pick and realizes maybe he should give the Knicks a chance again.
WHY THEY WON’T: Then Adam Silver realizes how many Draft picks the organization has traded away and that their miserable state they are in right now is all over their own doing and has nothing to do with fate. He makes the announcer announce that the Knicks win the first pick of the NBA draft before yelling out loud “LOL JK JK”.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Right before the lottery starts, the Knicks announce that they will trade all their draft picks for the next 3 years for the Laker’s Kobe Bryant in some kind of complicated arrangement. Kobe hugs Phil Jackson on live TV and New York is flooded with tears of their fans.
Philadelphia 76ers (18-64)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Adam Silver and David Stern had a bet with Sam Hinkie that if he could pull off assembling one of the worst teams in NBA history ever without completely enraging and alienating the entire fanbase, that they will give him the Top pick in 2015.
WHY THEY WON’T: Adam Silver is a protector of all that is right and just. He makes it personal that the Sixers do NOT win this lottery.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: All projected picks within the Sixers draft range immediately seeking out for the best injury insurance deals in the market.
Los Angeles Lakers (21-61)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: If the NBA was a mother which each team being her children, the Lakers would be the kid that always get everything they want, no questions asked. This is the Lakers. When was the last time you saw the Lakers be really bad for two straight seasons? There is a reason for that.
WHY THEY WON’T: Adam Silver is about to give green light to give the Lakers the top pick but receives a phone call from a K.Bryant. He says something about still having gas left in the tank and not letting them draft someone to take away my shots. Adam Silver shrugs and says okay.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Jokes aside, the Lakers situation in the lottery will be very entertaining. If the Lakers pick falls below slot number 5, their pick will turn over to the 76ers. There is an unbelieveably 17.2% chance that that happens. As someone who has lived of hatred of the Lakers succeeding year after year, those are pretty good odds for me.
Orlando Magic (25-27)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Dwight Howard forced a trade to the Lakers in 2012 and David Stern made a call to the Magic front office if he could offer a Top Pick in the following draft to compensate for the inconveniences. The Magic said “Nah, we got a good deal. But we’ll hold on to that offer.”
Fast forward to the summer of 2015, Silver’s phone rings. He picks it up and the voice on the other end says “Remember that time Dwight Howard forced us to trade himself to the Lakers? It’s time for our compensation.”
WHY THEY WON’T: Adam Silver is tired of the Magic drafting great dominant centers only to watch them have to trade him to the Lakers a couple of years later.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: I don’t really have anything for this one. Disney World is entertaining, I guess?
Sacramento Kings (29-53)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Since 2007, the Kings have never moved up their draft position via the Lottery. And they’ve been here for 7 straight years. Maybe they deserve a break this year.
WHY THEY WON’T: If you’ve been consistently losing for 7 years and your front office can’t figure anything about it, maybe you really do deserve another year of trying to figure it out by yourself.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: I’m still waiting for the team to move from Sacramento to Las Vegas. What are the odds of them being team that is most bet on in the country?
Denver Nuggets (30-52)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Adam Silver forgot that there is a team in Denver since they became been stuck in mediocracy Melo forced his way out. He sheepishly gives them the number one pick in hope they will forgive him.
WHY THEY WON’T: Adam Silver forgot that there is a team in Denver.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: I hope that the representative from the Denver Nuggets will be completely stoned for the event and orders pizza while the lottery is being announced.
Detroit Pistons (32-50)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Detroit’s up and coming star Andre Drummond deserves something nice. It’s been a whole year since Jennette McCurdy broke up with him for being a bad kisser after all he went through to hook up with her. Adam Silver feels that 1 year isn’t enough to cure the pain and decides to give the Pistons and Drummond a nice cheer up present.
WHY THEY WON’T: Silver doesn’t approve coaches using profanity in game plans.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Detroit doesn’t win the first pick. Instead they win the second pick and then all of the Pistons Fanbase prays that they don’t pick someone European.
Charlotte Hornets (33-49)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Adam Silver wants his own signature shoe line with Jordan Brand. Michael Jordan is owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The Air Silver 1’s appear on shelves the next fall.
WHY THEY WON’T: Adam Silver called Jordan about an Air Silver signature shoe line since 2014. Jordan just kept on laughing and laughing until Silver eventually hang up. Charlotte will never ever win the lottery ever again as long as Jordan is the Owner and Silver is the commissioner.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Jordan attends the draft lottery himself and can be seen gambling with other teams representatives on who will win the lottery.
Miami Heat (37-45)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: The Cavs got their pity First Overall Pick when LeBron left Cleveland for Miami. Why can’t the Heat get THEIR pity First Overall Pick after LeBron left Miami for Cleveland?
WHY THEY WON’T: They lost LeBron but got Goran Dragic and an out-of-nowhere Hasaan Whiteside. That’s enough for now.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Here is another interesting situation concerning the Philadelphia 76ers. The Heats pick is protected from picks 1-10, meaning if the a team below the 10th spot jumps into the top 3, the 76ers get the Heat’s pick. There is a 9.1% chance that this happens. If this happens, this also means that the Laker’s pick will also be sent to the 76ers. Look forward to sighs of relief from the Heat and Lakers representatives if they learn that they at least get to keep their picks.
Indiana Pacers (38-44)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: Adam Silver finally got the balls to watch Paul George’s freak injury from last summer and felt really, really sorry for what happened to him.
WHY THEY WON’T: They have a 99.2% chance to not win the lottery. You do the math.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Anyone who might get drafted by the Pacers are entertaining at this point. Other than Paul George, have you even thought about turning on a Pacers to game to watch any of their other players?
Utah Jazz (38-44)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: The Jerry Sloan-Deron Williams clash left the Jazz in ruins. Sloan’s successor Ty Corbin was one of the worst coaches in the league and he lasted 3 years. The Jazz got some good pieces in return for Williams, but things just looked bad and kept getting worse for the Jazz. Last year, they seem to be picking things up and Adam Silver might be one of those guys who likes a good underdog story.
WHY THEY WON’T: I have seriously got nothing and this article has been dragging way too long right now.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: I’ve really ran out of ideas guys.
Phoenix Suns (39-43)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: They have a Gorilla as their Mascot.
WHY THEY WON’T: They have a Gorilla as their mascot.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: I need the Suns Mascot, the Gorilla, to be the Suns representative at the Draft Lottery like my life depends on it. One of the world’s greatest mysteries is how a “SUN” is associated with a “GORILLA”. I’m not hating, just wondering.
Oklahoma City Thunder (45-37)
WHY THEY WILL WIN THE LOTTERY: From the injuries to Westbrook, then Durant, then Westbrook, then Ibaka, then Durant, and so on; Adam Silver figured that this team finally needed a break.
WHY THEY WON’T: Clay Bennett is evil and he shall never reap from what he stole from the city of Seattle.
ENTERTAINING THINGS TO LOOK FOR: OKC wins the lottery, finds a way to trade the pick to Houston for James Harden and we all live happily ever after.
So that’s the full preview of what could go on on the NBA Draft Lottery which will be held on the 19th of May, which is in a couple of days from now.
If the Timberwolves don’t win this year…I will have to truely accept that the Wolves are cursed.
Stay tuned as I’ll start to cover more about the NBA this year including the NBA draft itself and the Free Agent Market!
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