Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Looking Back: NBA Lottery Over the Last Decade

The NBA will have its lottery drawing live on TV tonight.  We will learn what team is lucky enough to land that #1 pick and Anthony Davis and we will also learn that if the Nets come away with this pick, that the NBA rigs its own lottery. 

NBA Lottery Odds and how the Lottery works

  • 2002, the Warriors has the best odds and landed the #3 pick, while the Rockets snuck up from the #5 spot
  • 2003, Cleveland had the best odds and landed the #1 pick
  • 2004, Orlando had the best odds and landed the #1 pick
  • 2005, Atlanta had the best odds and landed the #2 pick, while the Bucks snuck up from the #6 spot
  • 2006, Portland had the best odds and landed the #4 pick, while the Raptors snuck up from the #5 spot
  • 2007, Memphis had the best odds and landed the #4 pick, while the Trail Blazers snuck up from the #6 spot
  • 2008, Miami had the best odds and landed the #2 pick, while the Bulls snuck up from the #9 spot
  • 2009, Sacramento had the best odds and landed the #4 pick, while the Clippers snuck up from the #3 spot
  • 2010, New Jersey had the best odds and landed the #3 pick, while the Wizards snuck up from the #5 spot
  • 2011, Minnesota had the best odds and landed the #2 pick, while the Cavaliers snuck up from the #2 spot
Cleveland is the only team in the last 10 years to own two #1 picks, so that means good things for the Bobcats as they own the most ping pong balls and have not owned a #1 pick in the past 10 drafts.  Teams have drafted well in the #1 slot, as 7 out of the last 10 picks have turned out to be franchise players.  The Bucks with Andrew Bogut in 2005 and Trail Blazers with Greg Oden in 2007 have been injury plagued and the Raptors selection of Andrea Bargnani has proven to be a valuable pick, but Bargs is not a franchise player.  That draft class was horrendeus with LaMarcus Aldridge (#2), Brandon Roy (#6) and Rudy Gay (#8) being the only full time starters drafted that year.  Yao Ming (2002, retired) LeBron James (2003, free agent) & Bogut (2005, traded) are no longer with the team that drafted them. 

28 teams have made a lottery selection in the last 10 drafts.  The only teams NOT to own a lottery pick are the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.  Golden State and the Clippers have each made 9 draft choices in the 1-14 slots.  These two teams have made such poor draft picks, that it is difficult to even put together a roster of 12 of the 18 players they have drafted over the last 10 seasons, but I tried:

PG: Stephon Curry, Shaun Livingston
SG: Eric Gordon, Klay Thompson
SF: Mickael Pietrus, Mike Dunleavy, Al-Farouq Aminu
PF: Blake Griffin, Ekpe Udoh, Anthony Randolph
C: Chris Kaman, Andris Biedrins

Could that roster compete in today's NBA?

Right behind those two franchises, the Charlotte Bobcats and Minnesota Timberwolves have each made 8 lottery picks.  The Bucks, Thunder/Supersonics, and Raptors have each picked 7 times and the Bulls, Grizzlies, and Jazz have each selected 6 lottery players.  Every other team in the NBA has had 5 or fewer lottery picks in the past decade. 

The Miami Heat have drafted well with their three lottery picks in Dwayne Wade, Caron Butler and Michael Beasley.  The turned Butler in Shaq and an NBA Championship, and Michael Beasley into LeBron James and Chris Bosh. 

The Boston Celtics have officially made two lottery picks, but traded Randy Foye and Jeff Green in back to back drafts.

The Los Angeles Lakers lone lottery pick was a steal.  Andrew Bynum was passed on by 9 other franchises  before falling to the Lakers in 2005.  Bynum is now one of the top Centers in all of basketball.

Tonight will bring a lot of excitement for some and disappointment for many. 

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