The NBA Draft Lottery is one of the most looked forward to events for fans of really bad basketball teams. While other fan bases in larger markets rejoice in playoff basketball, others are left only wishing they could be a part of the fun. For 14 teams every season, the fun is had in building for the future and for most that starts with good positioning in the NBA Draft.
Whether you agree with how it works or not, the NBA Draft Lottery is the kick off to the NBA offseason and it fully sets draft talk into motion. In years past, there has usually been a clearcut No. 1 prospect that teams are literally trying to hit the jackpot with and win the chance to select him. But this year the field is more even keel and as many three or four players are seriously in the running to be the top pick. But the question entering the night was who would that team be.
That team ended up being Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Washington Wizards weren’t projected to pick inside the top 3 but because they drew the right combination, the order got skewed slightly. The Toronto Raptors needed to pick inside of the top-3 to hold onto their first-round pick but because they drew the 12th overall pick, it will now be transferred to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the James Harden trade.
Cleveland winning the lottery for the second time in three years could be potentially huge for the future of the team. Due to there not being a clearcut No. 1 prospect this year, __ could go a number of different directions. The first of which is to trade the pick to a team like Orlando or Charlotte who are are looking for missing pieces and need one real standout to lead their young team to greatness.
Obviously the best option is to stay put and draft a massive piece for the future. Nerlens Noel is a popular choice, as the center out of Kentucky is coming off of a torn ACL but is still regarded as one of the best players in his class.
Ben McLemore from Kansas is another prospect garnering significant buzz as is Otto Porter out of Georgetown.
All of these names are possibilities at No. 1 overall and that’s a problem __ is happy to have. They’re picking first overall and they’ll set the tone for how the rest of the draft plays out underneath them.
Here’s a look at the final NBA Draft Lottery order:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Orlando Magic
3. Washington Wizards
4. Charlotte Bobcats
5. Phoenix Suns
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
10. Portland Trailblazers
11. Philadelphia 76ers
12. Toronto Raptors (Belongs to Oklahoma City Thunder)
13. Dallas Mavericks
14. Utah Jazz
The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 27th.