New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams
The ping pong balls took a New Orleans bounce in the draft lottery. The Hornets won the No.1 pick with only a 13.7 percent chance of grabbing it. For the eighth consecutive year, the team with the worst record did not win the draft lottery. The Charlotte Bobcats, the league's worst team last season, saw their chances at Anthony Davis vanish as they landed the second pick in the draft.
The Hornets are in a position to change their franchise from lottery team to playoff team in just one year because they acquired the No. 1 pick. However, they are not just the only team to have themselves in prime positions to upgrade their franchises.
Here are five teams who are in great draft position to make a turnaround next year.
Of course, the Hornets are in the best position after winning the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. Not only do they have the No. 1 pick, they also have the tenth selection in the draft that they acquired from Minnesota. Two lottery picks in a stocked draft can mean drastic improvements for the future.
Anthony Davis will most certainly be the first pick, and with the tenth pick, they may have a chance to select a fellow teammate of Davis', 6'9" small forward Terrence Jones. The Hornets have a new owner in Tom Benson and will finally have a chance to fill the void of the star that has been empty since Chris Paul was dealt to the Clippers.
With these fresh faces to add to the young talent they already have, and a healthy Eric Gordon returning, the future for the Hornets looks very bright to say the least.
The Washington Wizards have had dismal seasons four years in a row, but maybe this draft can be the one that changes that. The Wizards will have the No. 3 selection in the draft, and mock drafts are predicting they will select the 6'10" power forward from Kansas—Thomas Robinson.
Robinson was the runner-up for National Player of the Year, showcasing his toughness and talent to the nation in the National Championship. This is the upgrade the Wizards have been waiting for the power forward position. Their current power forward, Andray Blatche, only played in 26 games last season, and was ineffective in those games, only averaging 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds.
A John Wall and Thomas Robinson tandem could be scary in the future. The Wizards also have an early second round pick, so they may be able to get a steal that selection. The Wizards can potentially position themselves to be in a playoff race in the weaker Eastern Conference with this upcoming draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have still not been to the playoffs in the post-LeBron era, but they are in a position to get closer. The Cavs will have the No. 4 selection in this year's draft, and they usually strike gold with their picks.
Last year they were able to draft Kyrie Irving, who was Rookie of the Year. He is the team leader who gives them hope for the future. They are projected to select the 6'3" shooting guard Bradley Beal from the University of Florida, who can help them offensively where they lack weapons.
The Cavs also have the 33rd and 34th overall picks in the draft. giving them three chances to improve their team. There is no doubt that the Cavs will be able to turn into a much more competitive team after the draft.
Last season, The Portland Trail Blazers went through many changes as an organization, and that affected their success. They also dealt with many injuries and struggled throughout the season. However, one of the changes they made put them in the great position they now have in the draft. A mid-season trade that sent Gerald Wallace to the then New Jersey Nets gave them a first round pick in return, so they can thank the Nets for receiving the No. 6 pick.
The Blazers also have the No. 11 pick, so they have two chances to place some good young talent around all-star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. They are projected to use their first pick on the 6'11" Baylor University forward Perry Jones III. The Blazers were near the bottom in rebounding last season, and that is a department Jones III can assist them in.
Prior to last season, the Blazers were playoff contenders every year. This draft will play a major part in their quest to return back to their usual status.
The Charlotte Bobcats were the laughing stock of the NBA last season. They had the worst record and the worst winning percentage in league history.
However, they have a great opportunity to become more competitive next season.
As bad as they were, they still did not receive the No.1 pick, but they only fell one spot down to receive the No. 2 pick. Owner Michael Jordan has a bad reputation of making poor decisions on draft day. In 2001, he drafted Kwame Brown with the No.1 pick and he turned out to be one of the biggest busts in NBA history. In 2006, he drafted Adam Morrison with the 3rd overall pick, which also never panned out too well.
With the 2nd overall pick, they are projected to select University of Kentucky 6'7" forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He would bring major talent and a good work ethic to the team. The pressure is on Jordan to make the right decision with this pick, and if he does, the Bobcats will begin their climb out of futility starting next season.