As the NBA tips off the conference finals tonight with the Golden State Warriors facing the Portland Trail Blazers, we are getting closer to the end of the season. That means we are getting closer to the NBA Draft (June 20) and free agency (Starts July 1st) as well.
But before the draft comes there’s the lottery draft where the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs spin the ping pong balls in a machine and select a number one through 14. This will determine the order of where each team will select their first round pick. Of those 14 picks are the top 5 picks and that’s where everyone wants to be because they can get the one of the best five players in the draft class.
And Joel and I are going to give you our thoughts and picks on where each of those teams will be picking, but before we get started talking about why our predictions will go this way, Joel and I agree that we think the NBA Lottery is the dumbest thing ever! It’s like the NBA is purposely trying to screw bad teams over. If the Knicks were the worst team, they should automatically get the first pick in the draft.
What if the NFL did this? What if in the year the Browns went 0-16, they got screwed over and picked fourth in the NFL Draft with their first pick. There would be an absolute outrage! Just give the worst team the pick they deserve. Anyway, that’s another article for another day. Let’s get to the lottery.
First, let’s take a look at all the teams that will be eligible in this lottery draft. Of course, it’s all based on the teams who missed the playoffs, but we’ll take a look at their records and the percentage of their chances at getting the No. 1 pick.
|Team||2018 Record||Lottery Odds|
|New York Knicks||17-65||14.00%|
|New Orleans Pelicans||33-49||6.00%|
|Dallas Mavericks (to ATL)||33-49||6.00%|
|Los Angeles Lakers||37-45||2.00%|
Now that we have taken the chance to look at the records from each team and their chances at getting the No. 1 overall pick. Joel and I will give our selections on where we think each team get be selecting their first round pick.
|Pick No.||Rahim’s Pick||Joel’s Pick|
Okay, so as a Lakers fans, I’ve been waiting for this past season to end so we can look to the chapter in the franchise. By now, you already know that Lakers President of Operations, Magic Johnson, left and head coach Luke Walton was fired. As of Sunday, the Lakers hired Frank Vogel as the new head coach and Jason Kidd as an assistant, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the Lakers missed playoffs with LeBron James. So I think the ping pong balls will fall in their favor a bit.
I’m sure you have already seen it in several of my past post with the Lakers getting the 5th pick, but that will not be a player drafted by the Lakers. Instead, it will be used as a piece of the trade to get Anthony Davis. That’s why the balls will fall in the favor of the Lakers.
With the Lakers getting the 5th pick, it’ll push teams like the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks out of the top five. But the Mavericks aren’t really too concerned with it unless they were in the top five because now that pick will go to the Atlanta Hawks via the Trae Young-Luka Donicic trade in last year’s draft.
Speaking of the Hawks, they will have two picks in the top 10 and if they can find a nice young talent like R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, and Deandre Hunter to match with Trae Young and John Collins, they could quickly be back into the playoff picture.
How about New Orleans Pelicans? With the trade for the 5th pick and several more pieces for Anthony Davis, they will be looking for the next best player in the draft. Now I know it’s too late for a mock draft, but with the 5th pick the Pelicans will draft Ja Morant. Even though Morant is the next best thing after clear No. 1 favorite Zion Williamson, I see him dropping only because the teams in front of him don’t need that position. Cleveland has Collin Sexton, Chicago has Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine, and Atlanta has Trae Young, so it’s either going to be Pelicans at five or Phoenix at 6th.
But let’s get to the No. 1 overall pick. The Zion pick. The team that will most likely be drafting the next biggest superstar and to be honest, I think it’s time for the Knicks franchise to turn around. They have been through a lot of turmoil and criticism lately and they are one of the biggest marketed teams in the NBA. Plus, going back to Joel’s originally argument of how this selection makes no sense, the Knicks are the league’s worst team and the only potential superstar, Kristap Porzingis, being injured and traded to Dallas.
I’m not saying the NBA Lottery is rigged, but it is taking place in Chicago, so I like the Bulls’ chances of getting the first pick in the draft. That would mean one of the three teams with the best chance is going to get screwed over, as at least one or two teams always does. That team will be the Knicks this year, as I have them going back to the fourth pick.
Throughout the lottery, I have a few teams swapping places with where they actually should be, but no other really significant changes. For the most part, after the beginning of the lottery, teams will end up relatively where they should be based on percentage, although teams will still be upset when they don’t get the pick they deserve. Others will be happy if they move up at all, like the Washington Wizards, who will move into the top five.
What do you think about the predictions that Joel and I gave? Do you agree? Before we find out tonight, let us know what your thoughts are.