NBA Lottery Winners and Losers
It's just so fitting that the NBA and NHL feel the need to conduct a lottery for its losers.
After all, isn't that who lotteries are for in North America?
Think about it. Mostly lower-income citizens toss their dosh at an endeavor they have virtually no chance of winning. No wonder lotteries are often called a tax on being poor.
Well, if there's one thing major sports franchises aren't, it's poor. And yes, their lotteries have winners, or what appear to be winners.
Sorta makes the Trail Blazers' selection of Greg Oden over Kevin Durant apochryphal, doesn't it?
And the world keeps going 'round.
NBA 2015 Draft Lottery Winners
Congratulations, T-Wolves fans!
In the first instance since the 2004 NBA draft, the team with the worst record, aka your Minnesota Timberwolves, will have the No 1 pick.
Barring a trade, the Timberwolves will have the last three No 1 overall picks on their roster for the upcoming season. Sure, one of those picks is Anthony Bennett, who's struggled, at best, in his first two NBA seasons. But the other one is Andrew Wiggins, who won Rookie of the Year honors this past season, as well as received the most first place votes for the NBA All-Rookie Team.
The Timberwolves will get their pick of whichever of the draft's two big men they so desire, either Duke’s Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns. However, Towns might not be that interested in spending his days in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, preferring instead to go to the land of the Lakers, who of course, had their beginnings in Minneapolis.
I look forward to hearing stories of Towns' camp trying to get their man out of the proverbial NBA jury duty that is playing for the T-Wolves. But no matter who they take, getting the No 1 overall pick may help the Timberwolves break their 11-year postseason drought.
Los Angeles Lakers
Salvation may finally be at hand for ailing Lakers fans.
The 2014-15 Lakers will go down as the worst team in franchise history, as they finished with a franchise-low 21 wins and a second straight year of missing the playoffs. The only notable moment for the Lakers came on opening night, where theirfans got to cheer on Kobe Bryant as he took on ex-Laker Dwight Howard:
Next season, the Lakers will get back their 2014 draft pick, Julius Randle, who went down on opening night with a broken leg. They also expect to have Kobe Bryant back next season after his recovery from shoulder surgery.
Things always seem to work out for the Lakers, who had a 12.6% chance of getting the second pick. Some fans may claim that the fix was in, but that is just the crazy meanderings of NBA conspiracy theorists. Oh hey, look! Its Lakers coach Byron Scott … wait … who's he winking at?
The Big Loser - New York Knicks
Remember 1985, Knicks fans? Remember when your team won the Patrick Ewing lottery and were able to turn the franchise around?
30 years later, it seemed like history might be repeating itself. However, Tuesday night marked yet another low point in the franchise's lousiest season in history. The Knicks will be picking fourth in the upcoming draft, which is disappointing to say the least for a team that had the league’s second-worst record.
Their season began with promise, as some pundits had the team pegged as a playoff team. In reality, their 2014-2015 campaign proved to be an all-out disaster, especially after Carmelo Anthony left the team for knee surgery, but not before making certain to play in the All-Star game.
Now, Phil Jackson will try to fix one of the NBA’s marquée franchises. Besides having the No 4 pick, Phil and the Knicks will have loads of cap space to try to make a contender out of the Eastern Conference’s reigning basement dwellers.
Still, the lottery results can’t help but depress Knicks fans, a sentiment best captured by the look on team GM Steve Mills' face.
The Little Loser - Philadelphia 76ers
It’s tough to say that the Sixers are losers in a draft where they get the third overall pick. But it's still fun to say it.
Try as they might, the tank job that is the Philadelphia 76ers were unable to secure the league’s worst record. It’s not like they're actual losers with the third pick. Au contraire, it might be for the team’s betterment.
This squad needs a new starting point guard after it traded last year’s Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, to the Milwaukee Bucks. After the two big men, the next best players on the board are point guards D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay. Either can make a big impact on a team -- even the Sixers -- the moment they step on the court.
The real loss for Philadelphia comes from not getting the Lakers' and Heat’s first round picks. Via a number of trades, they were able to acquire both, but they came with protections. The Laker's pick was 1-5 protected, and the Heat’s pick was 1-10 protected.
The best-case scenario could have seen the team draft 1-6-11, which became a chant among 76ers fans.
However, it was not meant to be.
So the Sixers will have to wait another year to get those picks. But don’t you worry, Philly fans, your team will have five second round picks to work with.
Until then, keep dreaming the dream of acquiring riches without earning them.