Once a year, the NBA Draft Lottery takes place. The lottery is a very influential event that all comes down to luck. There will be teams who leave upset and those with a smile on their face: winners and losers.
Ahead of the draft lottery, the odds for top three selections play a huge factor in who lands which pick. However, every now and again there is a team that jumps into the top three or first overall pick that was not expected to do so. Unfortunately, that did not happen tonight. These were the likelihoods for the first overall selection tonight, with the Orlando Magic receiving the first overall pick with a 14% chance.
The draft lottery information
Percentage for the First Overall Pick
Rockets – 14%
Magic – 14%
Pistons – 14%
OKC – 12.5%
Pacers – 10.5%
Blazers – 9%
Kings – 7.5%
Lakers (to Grizzlies or Pelicans) – 6%
Spurs – 4.5%
Wizards – 3%
Knicks – 2%
Clippers – 1.5%
Hornets – 1%
Cavs – 0.5%
How the Draft Lottery Actually Went
Top Prospects per ESPN 1-14
- Chet Holmgren 7’0, PF, Gonzaga
- Jabari Smith 6’10, PF, Auburn
- Paolo Banchero 6’10, PF, Duke
- Jaden Ivey 6’4, PG, Purdue
- Keegan Murray 6’8, PF, iowa
- Shaedon Sharpe 6’6, SG, Kentucky
- AJ Griffin 6’6 SF, Duke
- Jalen Duren 6’10, C, Memphis
- Johnny Davis 6’5, SG, Wisconsin
- Dyson Daniels 6’6, PG, G League ignite
- Bennedict Mathurin 6’6, SF, Arizona
- Ousman Dieng 6’10, SF, NZ Breakers
- Ochai Agbaji 6’6, SF, Kansas
- Malaki Branham
Winners of the Lottery
The Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic received the prize of the first overall selection, resulting in them getting to choose out of the top prospects. The Magic have a really young team consisting of their recent first round picks Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner and RJ Hampton alongside acquired young players such as Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. On top of that the possible biggest addition the team will be receiving alongside the first overall selection is Jonathan Isaac, the small forward tore his ACL in 2020 during the NBA bubble.
Then had a hamstring issue, putting him out of action for the 21-22 NBA season. The defensive impact they will receive from the combo forward returning from a two-year hiatus will certainly uplift the team. The reunion of Issac and the Magic on top of the addition of the first overall pick, giving the Magic the pick of the litter in an NBA Draft that has talents such as Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey.
Chet has been the premeditated first overall pick throughout the NBA community, the only question is do the Magic consider him the first overall pick? Attuned to that the Magic will be bringing in their fourth first overall pick since 1992 when they drafted Shaquille O’Neal. In 1993 they selected Chris Webber, and in 2004 the Magic selected Dwight Howard. Whoever the Magic draft June 23rd will be following in their footsteps.
The Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings were projected to have a 7.5 percent chance at landing the first overall pick, they had a far higher chance of 8.5 to land the fourth overall pick, and they got it. In 2009, the Kings picked fourth overall and selected the then rookie of the year award winner Tyreke Evans, who last played in the G-league.
The Kings will hope they select a player who lasts longer in the league this time. Their highest pick since 1989 (Pervis Ellison) which took place in 2018 Marvin Bagley traded him at his father’s request, receiving Donte DiVincenzo, Trey Lyles, and former fourth overall pick as well, a year before Josh Jackson.
To say the least the Kings have not had the most luck when it comes to lottery selections outside of De’Aaron Fox, and Tyrese Haliburton who is now on the Pacers after being traded for Domantas Sabonis and some other players in an attempt to win more games, although they forgot to realize their team is not win-now ready.
The Kings got a great pick in this draft, possibly stealing one of the top three prospects if a team above passes on them, or having the first pick of the rest of the litter. Regardless, if the Kings draft correctly in this selection, it could set them up for success and break some old habits.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Having two selections in the lottery at 2 and 12 has to be a win. The 12th pick was received in the Paul George trade. The Thunder are loaded with draft capital over the next few years due to very smart acquisitions and then trading said acquisition after they inflated the players value.
This is yet again another team that has young players and a bright future and will only be adding to that come June. The last time the Thunder (at the time the Sonics) selected at number two in 2007 they selected Kevin Durant, the least you can say is the pick panned out.
The Thunder just drafted Josh Giddey in 2021 who made the all rookie teams and has seemed to pan out so far being selected at sixth overall transiting from Australia. The pairing of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey alongside a better roster in the future should result in a lot of wins for Oklahoma.
That starts here in 2022 building the rest of the roster for a team that has the potential to be very successful over the next few years.
Losers of the Lottery
The Knicks entered the draft lottery hoping they would get some draft lottery luck for the first time since 1985, when they last moved up above their projected selection to pick one and selected Patrick Ewing. They instead stayed where projections had them at pick 11, and they received pick 11. They did not have as bad of a year as in a tough eastern conference as everyone thinks, however they could have improved their chances.
Although after big expectations for the 2021-2022 season after making some moves which included retaining some players for big money, spending over 200 million together they had a poor season. Once they were eliminated from the playoffs, they did not tank.
If they did tank, they could have possibly had a selection that preceded the eleventh by a good few selections at minimum. With the Knicks strapped for cash due to the previous off season, they entered the draft lottery hoping they would exceed their projection to find a way outside a trade to improve the team.
The Knicks can move a few contracts to create room, likely having to give up assets to get rid of some players’ hefty contracts. This is panning out to be a big off season for the Knicks future through how they deal with the salary cap issues, to numerous other decisions they need to make, and they would have liked a bit of luck. Although they have gone without it for such a long time and surprisingly so have had short periods of promise, if they execute well this off season they can be setting themselves up for success regardless of being a loser on draft night.
The Lakers were another team that disappointed this season. Unlike the Knicks, they do not get to be rewarded for this with an earlier selection in the draft because of the Anthony Davis trade in 2019. Instead, the New Orleans Pelicans benefit from gaining the eight overall selection.
Despite the fact, if the Lakers had the choice of winning the 2020 NBA championship or having their picks, they would make that decision a million times and would not even think about it. With that the Lakers certainly could use some more talented players on this roster outside LeBron James and Davis.
The eighth overall pick would be very helpful in that. The Lakers will have to capitalize on other avenues to improve their roster to maximize the final few years of LeBron James. Even without this pick, the Lakers should manage to be better in 2023, if they would like to keep James.
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