The NBA playoffs can be and often are exciting times, even for those teams that don't survive the regular schedule. After all, it's during the postseason that the league stages its draft lottery, which falls on May 30th this year.
So while the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs will (likely) still be chasing championships, these three bottom feeders will have their fingers firmly crossed as they hope to land one of the league's next superstars.
Which team needs the most lottery help?
After an embarrassing 7-59 season, the least the league could do for the Bobcats would be to hand them the keys to Anthony Davis...right?
The future of pro basketball in Charlotte, at least under the ownership of Michael Jordan, may well depend on it. The Bobcats, as currently constituted, have little-to-no hope whatsoever, unless anyone thinks Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson and Bismack Biyombo can form the core of a playoff contender.
Of course, there's no guarantee that Davis would change that, though he's as close to a sure thing as there is in this draft.
If nothing else, losing out on the No. 1 pick would only make the NBA's losingest season (by percentage) seem like a complete and utter waste rather than merely a tragic travesty with a silver lining attached.
Few things in the NBA are as good an occasion for laughter tinged with sadness than the Nets pushing the panic button for no good reason.
That's precisely what GM Billy King did at the trade deadline, when he sent then-New Jersey's first-round pick in the 2012 draft to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Gerald Wallace.
Because, you know, a hustling forward whose best years are already behind him is going to convince Deron Williams to stick around for the big move to Brooklyn.
The best part? The Nets' pick is only top-three protected, but they finished the season with the sixth-worst record. As such, Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z can only hope that the ping pong balls bounce their way.
Otherwise, they could wind up with neither D-Will nor a young star from the lottery around whom to build for the future.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are in much better shape than the Nets, at least as far as the draft lottery is concerned. Golden State need only hold serve at No. 7 to hang onto its first pick and, in turn, validate the organization's pathetically desperate attempt to tank the season away.
So long as the Detroit Pistons, the Toronto Raptors, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Minnesota Timberwolves (their pick owned by the Hornets), the Milwaukee Bucks, the Houston Rockets and/or the Phoenix Suns don't wind up with a stroke of good fortune, the Warriors should be fine.
Then again, with the way the franchise has screwed itself over the years, it'd hardly be a surprise if the lotto machine did a little knife-twisting for them.