With the Pelicans, being out of the Lottery, trading what would become the 22nd pick for Omer Asik relief and a small inconsequential player by the name of Nikola Mirotic, you’d think there’s nothing for Pels fans to root for tonight, right? WRONG
Tonight, there’s two things to root for, at least to me. Number one, chaos. Chaos is always fun. The absolute worst Draft Lottery is the one like last year, where everything stayed chalk on lotto night. But number two, perhaps more importantly is that sweet, delicious, karma coming back to bite teams.
Before I lay down the way I think the perfect draft would go, a quick refresher on the basics of the NBA Draft Lottery:
- The 14 teams not in the playoffs are slotted into the lottery, where only the top 3 picks are technically up for grabs.
- The odds to be in the top 3 go from 1.8% for the 14th slotted team (Nuggets) to 64.2% for the Phoenix Suns the first slotted team
- The odds for just the number one overall pick go from 0.5% for 14th slotted to 25% for the first slotted team
- Teams can only fall, up to 3 spots, if the teams slotted higher than them (better teams) move into the top 3
So without further ado, my 2018 petty draft lottery:
14) Denver Nuggets: Look, they’re already pretty good, just outside of the playoffs, because they lost on the last night of the year. Hopefully they manage to somehow give away another steal by the time the actual draft gets here, like they did with Donovan Mitchell’s rights being traded for…Trey Lyles!
13 & 12) Los Angeles Clippers: They get two bites at the apple because they gave Blake and his huge contract away to Detroit in the first 5ish months of his contract. Plus they looked ok last season, keep them here.
11) Philadelphia 76ers (From LAL) This pick either goes to the Celtics if it ends up 2-6 or Philly anywhere else in the Lotto. I’ve picked it as my first pick to be bumped up. Nobody want to see more talent go to those two teams anyway.
10) New York Knicks: Honestly, I would not be that worried even if the pick is a lotto winner. The Knicks aren’t really ready to fight for a playoff spot with KP probably still being out until the beginning of the season at least. Plus they gave Tim Hardaway Jr a good chunk of change. Not to worried about them scouting draft prospects.
9) Sacramento Kings: There is no way in good conscience I can let this team get another high-ish pick. Put them in the category of teams with the NYKs who I also have no confidence in their drafting,
8) Chicago Bulls They were rooting for the Pels to lose the games post Miro trade, ‘Nuff said. They should be thrilled I didn’t send them another spot further.
7) Atlanta Hawks: With new head coach Lloyd Pierce, the team seems to be sending the message that they are down to rebuild. Starting with a top 7 pick sounds great on paper, but I’m not sure in practice.
6) Dallas Mavs: Here, Dallas drops their max slots to fall from 3rd to 6th. Hard to not root for your team to fall in your division.
5) Memphis: “See above”
4) Phoenix Suns: I’m not the biggest fan of the way the Suns have done things, firing their coach pretty early, trading Bledsoe, the way Greg Monroe was handled. It just hasn’t seen fun in in PHX, from afar at least. Hopefully it continues..
3) Charlotte Hornets: They had the biggest jump in the Lottery, and honestly they’re in enough shambles and cap space hell that I’d be cool with it.
2) Orlando Magic: Throwing Preston Ellis, of The Bird Rights, a bone here so he can watch maybe watch them on a better TV at least.
1) Cleveland Cavaliers (Via Brooklyn): Maximum chaos. Cleveland gets another top pick and this opens up a suite of options for Lebron James. Will he stay in Cleveland? WIll they trade the pick for better players for Lebron? Or just hang on in case he decides to leave.
So there you have it, my super weird Draft Lotto Predictions board.