Who Would Benefit Most from Winning NBA Draft Lottery?



By: David Kay

The ping pong balls will be plucked Tuesday night and we will find out who wins the John Wall sweepstakes otherwise known as the NBA Draft lottery.  Since its inception, we have learned how this night can forever change the face of a franchise.  Just ask the Knicks and Patrick Ewing or the Spurs and Tim Duncan.   In fact, only three times since 1990, has the team with the best odds of landing the number one overall pick actually won the lottery.  Last year, the Kings had the best percentage and actually ended up drafting fourth while the Clippers had luck on their side moving into the number one slot.

So who needs the ping pong ball to bounce their way this time around?  Allow me to break down each lottery team and how badly they need the number one pick and what it would mean for their franchise’s future.  Click here for my 2010 NBA Mock Draft.

New Jersey Nets: 25%
Winning the first pick is not just important for the Nets because it would add Wall but it would also increase their likelihood of landing one or two of the marquee free agents with all their cap space.  Sure New Jersey does not need a point guard per se since they have Devin Harris, but by drafting Wall, the Nets could turn around and trade Harris for another valuable asset.  In the same regard, it is not the end of the world if they don’t land the #1 pick and Wall since they already have Harris.  Settling for Evan Turner would give New Jersey some needed scoring punch on the wing or even getting Derrick Favors would help fill a hole at the power forward spot.

Minnesota Timberwolves: 19.9%

I am kind of hoping the Timberwolves win the lottery just for the pure comedy value.  David Kahn drafted Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn with the fifth and sixth picks so they absolutely do not need Wall but it would be funny to see how Kahn could mess this up.  Common sense would say the T-Wolves either draft Wall and then trade Flynn and maybe even the rights to Rubio or trade down with the pick so they can land Turner, Favors, or Wesley Johnson; all of whom truly fit a need for Minnesota.

john-wallSacramento Kings: 15.6%

Let’s just say I would watch all 82 Kings game next season if last year’s first round pick and Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans was paired up with Wall.  That would be a scary, scary thought as a backcourt of the future.

Golden State Warriors
: 10.4%

With Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis already manning the backcourt, the Warriors would either trade down with the #1 pick or draft Wall and then likely try to trade Ellis.  Again, the Wall/Curry backcourt for the next five-ten years would be a dangerous duo especially when you add in the strong piece acquired for Ellis.

Washington Wizards
: 10.3%

The Wizards are building from scratch after blowing up their roster at the trade deadline and desperately need a face of the future since Gilbert Arenas is clearly not that guy.  Washington could draft Wall and shift Arenas to the two, assuming he does not threaten to shoot any of his teammates and end up getting suspended again.

Philadelphia 76ers: 5.3%

The Sixers used their first round pick last year on Jrue Holiday who put together a solid rookie season and seems to be headed down the right path of being their point guard of the future.  However, Holiday is no Wall and Philly is desperate for a star player since Andre Iguodala is better suited being the #2 guy on a team and Elton Brand is a shell of the player he once was.  So Wall would be the obvious pick.

Detroit Pistons: 5.2%
The Pistons roster is loaded with wing players and their number one priority is to address their need for a big man through the draft.  With that being said, Wall could still be the choice and Detroit would then have try and trade current point guard Rodney Stuckey in hopes of filling that void up-front.  If not, the Pistons could try and trade down a couple spots and snag Favors or DeMarcus Cousins.

Los Angeles Clippers: 2.3%
Even though they have Baron Davis, Wall would still be the pick and then Davis would likely be shopped.  Let’s hope this does not happen though because Wall would almost certainly suffer some sort of Clipper Curse injury like last year’s top pick Blake Griffin did last season.

Utah Jazz: 2.2%
This would be interesting and probably drive Knicks fans insane.  The Jazz have one of the best point guards in the league in Deron Williams and would probably shop the pick in hopes of adding another piece to their established roster or just take Favors or Turner instead at number one.  Landing the top pick would also increase the likelihood of Carlos Boozer returning to Salt Lake City.


Indiana Pacers: 1.1%
The Pacers have been searching for an answer at the point for several years now and Wall would be the perfect solution.  He would also give Danny Granger a badly needed wingman.

New Orleans Hornets: 0.8%
The Hornets already have Chris Paul and last year’s first round pick Darren Collison who did a great job filling in when CP3 was hurt this season.  They would likely consider taking Evan Turner but also have a need for depth up-front making Cousins and Favors options as well.  A trade would be another possibility to move down a couple spots and possibly clear some cap space as well.

Memphis Grizzlies: 0.7%
Mike Conley has not grown into the point guard position like the Griz hoped so Wall would replace him as their future floor leader, then making Conley expendable.

Toronto Raptors: 0.6%
Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack were both rather disappointing last season so Wall would definitely be the likely candidate.  Plus, it may help the effort of re-signing Chris Bosh when there is a future stud point guard joining the team.  However, the Raptors could possibly take Favors or Cousins as a replacement for Bosh if their confidence is not high that he will return.

Houston Rockets: 0.5%

Houston point guard Aaron Brooks was named the NBA’s most improved player this past season but the Rockets would still probably take Wall.  Brooks and Wall could possibly play in the same backcourt or Houston could try and deal one of the two.

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  1. Peter Christian says

    David Kahn having the 1st pick in the NBA draft is like giving a kid a handful of bottlerockets and a lighter then saying, “now don’t blow up your hand.” Even with the warning you know they’re gonna cause some irreversible damage.

  2. paulmbanks says

    HAHAHAHA SO what are the fashionable rumors this year? what big market team is David Stern going to fix the lottery for this season?

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