Lottery Predictions and Top Prospects

Part of the 2017 NBA draft order is set. Just not the part that people, you know, care a whole lot about.The conclusion of the 2016 17 NBA regular season ensures the 14 non playoff teams will be hanging out until May 16 to see where they select. Of course, some of those non playoff teams have already punted their draft pick and will send a representative to the lottery in the saddest possible form.Those 16 teams that will continue playing after tonight’s action are locked into their draft spots. Unlike the NFL, the NBA does not reorder its draft based on postseason performance. The Utah Jazz, who own the Golden State Warriors’ selection, will be picking No. 30 regardless of how Golden State does in the next two months.With that in mind, let’s take a look at the lottery odds for every team and how the back half of the draft will play out. Their 10 10 start got Luke Walton exalted as the Next Great Head Coach, before things fell completely apart and Los Angeles won 11 of its next 56 games. No one wants a losing season, but the best case scenario seemed to be playing out for the Lakers.Sitting with the NBA’s second worst record, the Lakers had good odds for their pick staying at No. 3 or better thus keeping Philly’s greedy paws off it. The pick loses its protection next season, at a point when the Lakers can reasonably expect to start making visible forward momentum. They’re not going to be a playoff team next year, but it’s easier to swallow giving up the No. 9 or No. 10 pick than No. 4.Well, the Lakers went ahead and won a whole bunch of games and are now on the edge of losing their pick. The Lakers finished with five straight wins before losing their season finale to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday propelling them ahead of the spiraling Phoenix Suns.They now have a 53 percent of losing their pick to Philly. The worst part of this whole thing is that if they do lose their pick, the Lakers will also be forced to relinquish their 2019 first round selection to the Orlando Magic for the Dwight Howard trade.Who knew winning could be so awful?The Nets Err, Celtics Will Not Win the LotterySince the lottery (generally) began using its current formula in 1994, the team with best odds (worst record) has won it four times. Two of those have come in the last two seasons. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Sixers have locked themselves into the top pick, and each year not a single pick moved in the entire lottery.Coming up with the same result three years in a row something that’s never happened before would be a surprise.The Celtics wholesale jerseys
are guaranteed a top four pick regardless of how the lottery falls. That’s not a bad result for a team that just finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference.It’s just a gut feeling that we won’t be seeing athird straight lottery have the most likely result.No One Will Do Anything Fun or GoofyIf last year is any indication, the days of viral sensations on lottery night are a thing of the past. What a bore that thing was. Teams are a little too self conscious about turning themselves into memes, and the NBA takes the whole lottery thing too seriously.The whole thing should be a circus. Put the best entertainers of the city on the podium and have them actually react as the picks go down instead of smiling politely at the camera. Because of television, a 45 second process takes 30 minutes, so why not make this thing a little more fun?


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