My apologies for not being here – it has been a bit overwhelming of late.
Well, somebody has to do it, so let’s talk about this sham known as the NBA Lottery. Does anybody else find it interesting that Philly, the Lakers, and Boston had the top three picks going into the lottery – and for the first time in lottery history the order wasn’t changed at the lottery? Coincidence?
Mix in the fact that HOURS before the scheduled lottery Dikembe Mutombo going on twitter to congratulate the Sixers for winning the lottery and it only fueled the conspiracy theorists out there, and rightfully so.
I will give the NBA credit, they posted the process online and it seemed above board, but again they need to clean this shit up.
The order is out, so let’s discuss.
#14 – Chicago. #14 doesn’t help these guys, I’m going to be much more interested in how they do in Free Agency
#13 – Phoenix. Second consecutive year they have the #13 pick.
#12 – Utah. Is there any team that gets less press than these guys? Second consecutive year they have the #12 pick. This team is very close to the playoffs and I wonder if they would be tempted to make a trade? This might be the year they do something unexpected.
#11 – Orlando. I continue to believe that this is a rising team, but could we be looking at a trade here? Not for a salary cap dump – they’ve cleared space – but for a vet?
#10 – Milwaukee. I have no idea where this franchise is going.
#9 – Toronto. A conference finalist at #9? This pick only makes them deeper, and I like their GM Masai Ujiri. He’ll make a good pick here, or something that helps Toronto.
#8 – Sacramento. Last season the Kings believed they could be the #8 seed in the West playoffs and just nine months later the Kings are looking at rebuilding, but doing it the right way this time – they hired an assistant GM and brought in Dave Joerger from Memphis to be the Head Coach.
Cue the never ending rumors about Cousins to Boston here. I could see the Kings listening this time because Cousins value will NEVER be better than right now. I hate the idea, but if Boston makes a wild offer, SAC is going to listen – why wouldn’t they? I can’t imagine Boston putting enough together for an all-star Center, but that may not stop Boston from trying.
Can a #8 pick help this team? Probably not, but the pick isn’t the key here, nor is free agency – the key is starting to build stability and credibility that have been missing and that will take another year at least – to show they are committed to doing it the right way. That can only begin if they observe the chain of command and if the owner recognizes and allows his people to do their jobs.
#7 – Denver. Second Consecutive year they sit at #7, along with #15 and #19. I like Michael Malone as a Head Coach and apparently so do players. And this haul of rookies will only help accelerate their rebuild.
#6 – New Orleans. One day you think they are the next up and comers in the West, then they fall flat. Which way do they go as many of their “name” players have expiring contracts.
#5 – Minnesota. This will be the “sexy” team in the west next season. New power guy in Thibodeaux to run the show and coach, along with all that talent. And now a #5 pick that could be a solid contributor or a nice trade piece for a team wanting to move up. Either way, Minny wins here.
#4 – Phoenix. If there was a disappointment in 2015/16, Phoenix was it. Three picks in the first round (#3, 13, 28), and boy do they need em.
#3 – Boston. This is an interesting case here as there are so many ways they can go. They have three picks, and have so little commitment to the cap and so many draft picks that they can be flexible on June 23rd. Buckle up Celtic fans because the team you see in October may not be the team you saw back in April.
#2 – LAL. Second consecutive year at #2, but the big shock is that the Lakers didn’t actually win – or did they? They are guaranteed one of the two marquee names in the draft, but the question is what do they do in Free Agency? Are the Lakers still a marquee destination in the NBA? We’re gonna find out as the Lakers have the lowest commitment to the cap going into the Summer.
#1 – Philladelphia. Philly fans are about to be rewarded for Sam Hinkle’s tanking. It sucked for many years and the NBA should never have allowed it, but they are about to strike gold. Not only does Philly have three first round picks this draft (#1, 24, 26), they should have two in 2017 and two in 2019.
Conclusion. In the grand scheme of things, for almost all the teams, the lottery/draft doesn’t really matter this Summer because the much bigger deal this off-season is that the Salary Cap is going to go up BIG TIME and with so many teams so far under the current cap, there’s gonna be a free for all in spending.
Buckle up because from June 23rd to July 15th is going to be a very wild ride in the NBA with lots of movement.