Handicapping Each NBA Team's Odds of Landing No. 1 Pick in 2013

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIJuly 31, 2012

Handicapping Each NBA Team's Odds of Landing No. 1 Pick in 2013

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    The 2012-13 NBA season is months away, and while everyone in the NBA is getting amped up for it, there are some teams who know the season doesn't mean anything for them other than the hopes of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

    While teams like the Miami Heat, L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics are pursuing the 2013 NBA title, other teams like the Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards will be looking toward the draft lottery.

    Ahead is a power ranking of every NBA team that includes a handicapping of each NBA team's odds of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.  

30. Miami Heat

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 50-1 (1.9 percent)

    The Miami Heat will start off the 2012-13 season with even loftier expectations than last season, as they'll be looking to repeat as NBA Champions.

    With Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis solidifying their bench, the Heat will be an even more dangerous team next season, and that's bad news for the 29 other NBA teams.

    The only way the Heat will come close to ending up with a lottery pick is if for some reason LeBron James or Dwyane Wade decide to pull a Dwight Howard and try to leave town. That's ridiculous, though.

    The 2012-13 season will be a special one for the Heat, and it certainly won't end with a trip to the 2013 draft lottery. It's championship or bust once again in South Beach. 

29. L.A. Lakers

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 30-1 (3.2 percent)

    The L.A. Lakers won't be making any selections in the next few NBA drafts, but for the sake of the Phoenix Suns, who have the Lakers' first-round pick next year, I'll break down why this pick won't be very valuable.

    After getting Steve Nash and signing Antawn Jamison, the Lakers have become one of the most feared teams in the NBA, and that kind of respect is certainly warranted.

    When you have a two-time NBA MVP teaming up with a five-time NBA champion in the backcourt, and two seven footers holding down the paint, you're bound to have a team with championship aspirations.

    This year, the Lakers will certainly live up to those aspirations, and compete with the Miami Heat for the 2013 NBA title. Sorry Phoenix, that means your 2013 first-round draft pick from the Lakers isn't going to be all that valuable to you.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 25-1 (3.9 percent)

    The Oklahoma City Thunder got a bit exposed last season in the NBA Finals as a young team which needs another year or two to develop into a more complete team.

    While the Thunder didn't make any earth-shattering moves this offseason, other than drafting Perry Jones III and signing Hasheem Thabeet, they are still one of the top three teams in the NBA.

    The 2012-13 season could be their final one with the bearded wonder, James Harden, and I expect him to play on an even more efficient level as he pursues a max deal this upcoming offseason.

    The Thunder aren't going to be even close to being a lottery team come time for the 2013 NBA draft, and interestingly enough they've earned that honor by drafting the right players time and time again.  

27. San Antonio Spurs

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 23-1 (4.2 percent)

    Any time you have Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, coached by Gregg Popovich, you're going to have an extremely dangerous team.

    That's exactly what the Spurs will be next year. They are not only going to compete for a top spot in the Western Conference, they will also compete to be the team that keeps the Heat from establishing the NBA's next dynasty.

    While the Spurs didn't make any serious offseason moves, other than re-signing Duncan which was a no-brainer, the Spurs are just as dangerous as they were last year.

    If their core talent can manage to stay healthy throughout the season, the Spurs will be a top contender coming out of the West, instead of competing for placement in the 2013 draft. 

26. Boston Celtics

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 23-1 (4.2 percent) 

    The Boston Celtics were teetering on the edge of entering a rebuilding year when the summer of free agency began.

    Luckily for the Celtics, they were able to re-load by re-signing Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass, and bringing in talented players to add depth to their roster like Jason Terry, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee.

    They certainly fought off being a team looking for an identity by bringing in talent that perfectly complements the franchise pieces they have in place like Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce.

    Instead of competing for the No. 1 pick next season, the Celtics will be competing with the Miami Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 22-1 (4.4 percent)

    The Memphis Grizzlies finally found the backup point guard they've lacked the past few seasons when they signed Jerryd Bayless this past offseason.

    Adding depth in the backcourt was an absolute must for the Grizzlies, and doing that further solidified them as a powerhouse in the Western Conference.

    If Josh Selby can carry over his success from the summer league and become a legitimate piece of the Grizzlies rotation, they will be a very dangerous and competitive team in the West.

    Barring injuries to their star players, there is just no way the Grizzlies will find themselves in contention for the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. 

24. New York Knicks

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 22-1 (4.4 percent)

    The New York Knicks certainly didn't reload this offseason. They lost Jeremy Lin and replaced him with two point guards who aren't necessarily at the pinnacle of their careers.

    With that being said, the Knicks still will be a very dangerous team in the East. Anytime you have Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire on the court, you'll have a team capable of making a run in the playoffs, and that's what the Knicks will be.

    Adding Marcus Camby will bring a heightened defensive focus in the paint, which is something they desperately needed last season.

    The Knicks won't be a lottery team next year. They have way too much talent, albeit somewhat aging talent, to find themselves in that position. 

23. L.A. Clippers

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 22-1 (4.4 percent)

    Lob City took a shot this offseason when Blake Griffin went down with a torn meniscus, but luckily they have enough talent to help buy time until he returns to 100-percent health.

    In what could be Chris Paul's final season in L.A.—as he will be a free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season—the Clippers will certainly do everything in their power to make it further than their second-round playoff exit last season.

    Players like Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom will be at the foundation of the Clippers' success next season, as they will be the guys adding depth to their lineup.

    The Clippers won't be able to compete with their Staples Center brothers, the L.A. Lakers, but they'll certainly be a playoff team next year, which means they'll be very far away from the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. 

22. Indiana Pacers

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 21-1 (4.6 percent)

    It would take something catastrophic to push the Indiana Pacers towards the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

    After a surprising run in the playoffs last year, which included a near upset of the Miami Heat, the Pacers are bound to take a step back, albeit a very small one.

    Losing Dahntay Jones and Darren Collison will hurt the Pacers' intensity a bit, but adding D.J. Augustin will help nullify that impact.

    The Pacers will be a playoff team next year, meaning they won't be in the running for a lottery pick, including the No. 1 pick, but they'll be a bit further back than the three seed they were last season. 

21. Dallas Mavericks

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 20-1 (4.8 percent) 

    The Dallas Mavericks had an extremely slow start to the 2012 offseason, but signing O.J. Mayo, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and trading for Darren Collison helped save the day.

    WIth Dirk Nowitzki still playing at the elite level he is capable of, the Mavs will always be a dangerous team.

    Now that they have new backcourt and some depth in their frontcourt, the Mavs are destined to be a very competitive team in the Western Conference next year.

    A few weeks ago it looked like rebuilding time for the Mavs, which would have put them higher on this list. Mark Cuban and the Mavs don't look ready to let that happen yet, though. Oh well, the rebuilding process will have to wait another year or two in Dallas. 

20. Atlanta Hawks

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 14-1 (6.7 percent)

    The Atlanta Hawks put together one of the best offseasons by reeling in players like Kyle Korver, Lou Williams and Devin Harris.

    Those players will be at the core of the Hawks' success next year, and they are the kind of players who will complement guys like Josh Smith and Al Horford, with their versatility.

    It seems like every year the Hawks are in the playoffs, making a first or second-round exit. While that won't change at the end of the 2012-13 season, the Hawks will take a step in the right direction for the future of their franchise.

    The Hawks don't have a No. 1 pick in their future, and that's fine because the way their franchise is moving, they certainly won't need one. 

19. Denver Nuggets

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 14-1 (6.7 percent) 

    The Denver Nuggets have put together an impressive team heading into next year, and they did so by re-signing players like Andre Miller and JaVale McGee.

    The one thing they absolutely must do if they want to be a more dangerous team in the West next year is add a serious level of defensive intensity to the way they approach the game.

    The Nuggets have an extremely deep roster, and that depth will be at the core of their success next year.

    They will certainly need veteran leadership from Andre Miller to be a playoff team next year, and that's what they'll get. A lottery pick won't be in the Nuggets' future, and that's great news for their franchise. 

18. Chicago Bulls

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 11-1 (8.3 percent)

    The Chicago Bulls are going to struggle without Derrick Rose a lot more than most experts think, but that doesn't mean they won't find themselves competing for a playoff spot next year.

    The damage done by not having Rose for the first half of the season will certainly be felt, but guys like Kirk Hinrich and Marco Belinelli will be able to help them remain competitive until he returns.

    The Bulls will take a step back next year, but they won't be in bad shape to be competitive come time for the playoffs, because Rose will be back to 100 percent then.

    Next year will bring a lot of questions for the Bulls and which players they are going to keep for the future of their franchise, but one thing is for sure, and that is that they won't be competing for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. 

17. Brooklyn Nets

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 11-1 (8.3 percent) 

    The Brooklyn Nets have transitioned from being the laughing stock of the NBA to being a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.

    With a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez, the Nets might just have a more formidable starting lineup than every other NBA team, including the Miami Heat.

    The two things that will hold the Nets back next year though are a lack of chemistry and a lack of depth on the bench. Adding C.J. Watson and Reggie Evans will certainly help, but they won't be able to do it alone.

    I'll be shocked if the Nets aren't a playoff team next year, and a playoff appearance means they won't be fighting for the No. 1 overall pick.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 10-1 (9.1 percent) 

    Ever since losing Kevin Garnett the Minnesota Timberwolves have found themselves in the conversation for draft lottery picks. That is all going to change next year when the T'Wolves finally become a playoff team.

    With Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, the T'Wolves had an exciting roster heading into the 2012-13 season. Now, with Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger and Andre Kirilenko, they are most certainly a team ready to compete in the West.

    A playoff appearance isn't out of question next season, and it's exactly what the T'Wolves need to become a relevant team once again.

    I'll be thoroughly shocked if the T'Wolves find themselves in the lottery next season, because frankly, they are much better than that. 

15. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 8-1 (11.1 percent) 

    The Cleveland Cavaliers will be one of the big surprises of the 2012-13 season, as they'll make a return to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    With Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters holding down the backcourt, the Cavaliers will have an extremely exciting team next season.

    Their success, though, doesn't lie on the chemistry of Waiters and Irving. Their success lies squarely on the shoulders of players like Tristan Thompson, Omri Caspri and Anderson Varejao.

    Depth on the bench is certainly question for the Cavaliers, but if guys like Daniel Gibson can step up their game, they can be a dangerous team next season. The 2012-13 season will be a breath of fresh air for the Cavaliers as they'll finally make it out of the draft lottery. 

14. Portland Trail Blazers

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 8-1 (11.1 percent) 

    The Portland Trail Blazers suffered two major losses last season when Brandon Roy retired and Greg Oden went down with yet another career-threatening injury.

    The Blazers certainly have that in their rear-view mirror, as they've moved on thanks to Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard.

    Lillard was without a doubt the star of this year's summer league, and that's great news for the Blazers, who may have found their combo-guard of the future. Their 2012-13 success lies squarely on Lillard's shoulders and while he'll perform at a rookie-of-the-year level, he will struggle to get the Blazers out of the lottery.

    The Blazers' 2012-13 season will be a roller-coaster ride, which is good and bad news. Landing another lottery pick might be in their future, but so could a playoff appearance. It all depends on Lillard, and the Blazers' second unit talent 

13. Utah Jazz

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 8-1 (11.1 percent) 

    The Utah Jazz got exposed last year in the playoffs when they got swept by the San Antonio Spurs, and while they are still a good team, they aren't ready to turn the corner just yet.

    Signing Marvin Williams and Randy Foye, and trading for Mo Williams certainly makes sense, but there's no guarantee that those players will add any level of efficiency to the Jazz roster.

    Efficiency and backcourt production is what the Jazz need, because in all honesty, they have a very intimidating frontcourt trio of Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Al Jefferson.

    With another year of chemistry under their belt, the Jazz could be a dangerous team in the West. Until then they are destined to be a team playing for lottery position in the draft. 

12. Philadelphia 76ers

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 8-1 (11.1 percent) 

    Talk about a major step back. The Philadelphia 76ers will go from being one win away from an appearance in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals to being a lottery team in 2013.

    The main reason for that is the fact that they failed to add veteran leadership to a young roster that desperately needs it. Andre Iguodala is a solid player, but he will never be the leader the 76ers need.

    Re-signing Spencer Hawes was a smart move, but he isn't tough enough to hold down the paint without a player like Elton Brand beside him, and signing Nick Young is a move that honestly makes the 76ers more inefficient than before.

    While the No. 1 pick might be a stretch for the 76ers, being a lottery team in 2013 certainly isn't. 

11. Golden State Warriors

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 7-1 (12.5 percent) 

    The Golden State Warriors may have gotten the steal of the draft when they selected Harrison Barnes, but without some defensive focus the Warriors won't be a playoff team next year.

    The Warriors need to figure out how to keep running their high-octain offense while also incorporating some defensive intensity into the way they approach the game.

    Having Steph Curry back next season, assuming he can stay healthy, will be a huge boost for the Warriors, but Curry won't be able to carry the Warriors by himself.

    Their success lies on the shoulders of players like Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes stepping up their game. I don't see that happening next year. They will need an additional year to bring chemistry to the court, and that means they'll undoubtedly be a lottery team next season. 

10. Phoenix Suns

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 7-1 (12.5 percent) 

    Losing Steve Nash is going to hurt a lot more than most people think.

    While Goran Dragic is a very competent point guard, he can't immediately make up for the loss of leadership and experience that Nash brought to the court.

    Adding Michael Beasley and Luis Scola certainly will help the Suns remain a competitive team in the West, but those players alone won't be able to keep the Suns from finding themselves in the lottery next year.

    Depth is key to being a competitive team, and that's something the Suns just don't have right now. Expect to see the Suns in the pre-draft lottery come June 2013. 

9. Milwaukee Bucks

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 6-1 (14.3 percent) 

    The Milwaukee Bucks made a wise move for their future by re-signing Ersan Ilyasova, but they failed to find a center who can solidify their frontcourt, and that all but guarantees their mediocrity next season.

    Yes, I know they signed Samuel Dalembert. Unfortunately, he's not the kind of physical, tough center the Bucks need holding down the paint.

    While Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis will certainly be an offensively-dynamic duo, they won't be able to carry the Bucks to playoff success alone.

    It's not out of question to think that the Bucks will improve from last year, but that's only if they can find some depth on their bench. I don't see that happening, which means another mediocre season for the Bucks and a shot at a high draft pick. 

8. New Orleans Hornets

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 5-1 (16.7 percent) 

    The New Orleans Hornets cleared their roster of Chris Kaman's bloated contract, and they replaced it with another bloated contract. Only this time, the player, Eric Gordon, might actually be worth the money invested in him.

    While there is a lot of excitement surrounding Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers' start to the 2012-13 season, realistically the Hornets are going to go through a bit of growing pains next season.

    The Hornets just don't have enough veteran leadership to be a good team next year, and even Eric Gordon won't be able to change that.

    Landing the No. 1 pick won't be as easy as last season, mainly because the Hornets will be further back in the lottery selection, but they'll still have a legitimate shot at making it two-straight years with the No. 1 overall pick. 

7. Houston Rockets

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 5-1 (16.7 percent) 

    The Houston Rockets went "all in" for Dwight Howard this offseason, and as of right now, they've absolutely struck out.

    Stealing Jeremy Lin away from the New York Knicks certainly is a solid move, but it doesn't make up for losing Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, Luis Scola and Chase Budinger.

    The Rockets are going to struggle during the 2012-13 season, because they just don't have depth at any position on their roster, and Lin won't be able to hide that.

    If the Rockets don't land Howard before the start of next year, their best chance at being a playoff team in the future is landing the No. 1 pick. Luckily for them, the No. 1 pick might not be extremely out of reach. 

6. Sacramento Kings

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 4-1 (20.0 percent) 

    Aside from drafting Thomas Robinson, the Sacramento Kings have been extremely quiet this offseason, and that's not going to help them in the 2012-13 season.

    The Kings needed to add some veteran talent and maturity to their roster, and failing to do that means they will continue to struggle to compete in a very competitive Western Conference.

    While the Kings might improve a bit from last year, there's no doubt that they won't be more than a bottom feeder in the West.

    If the Kings keep the talent they currently have, with Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton, it's going to take another year or two to become a legitimate playoff contender, and that could include owning the No. 1 draft pick in 2013. 

5. Orlando Magic

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 4-1 (20.0 percent) 

    The Orlando Magic have been put through a tumultuous offseason, and they have Dwight Howard to thank for that.

    Even if they don't trade Howard before the 2013 trade deadline, Howard will be more of a hindrance to the Magic than he will be a help.

    Trading away Ryan Anderson and re-signing Jameer Nelson certainly didn't make the Magic a better team heading into the 2012-13 season, and there's absolutely no way they will make the playoffs will the talent they have on their roster.

    The Magic need to focus on getting something in return for Howard before the end of next season, because if they don't their only hope of returning to glory is to land the No. 1 overall pick. While they will have a high chance at doing that, it's no guarantee. Just ask the Charlotte Bobcats about that.

4. Toronto Raptors

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 3-1 (25.0 percent) 

    After losing Chris Bosh two years ago, the Toronto Raptors haven't been close to being a playoff team. They've transformed into a team without an identity, and that's exactly who they will be in 2013.

    While adding Terrence Ross helps the Raptors, he won't be able to make them anything more than a below-average team next year.

    The Raptors just don't have enough depth on their roster to compete with the elite teams in the NBA, and they will even struggle to compete with the average teams in the league.

    I'll be shocked if the Raptors win more than 20 games next year, and that will put them in a great place to make the first pick in the 2013 draft. 

3. Washington Wizards

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 2-1 (33.3 percent)

    The Washington Wizards drafted one of the best players in last years draft in Bradley Beal, but adding him to their roster doesn't assure them anything.

    There are high hopes that Beal and John Wall can form a dynamic backcourt duo, but in reality, that will take a year or two to develop, because Wall isn't ready to lead the Wizards or their backcourt.

    The Wizards do have a dynamic center in Nene Hilario, but their lack of depth on the bench is certainly going to hold them back from making a step in the right direction during the 2012-13 season.

    Hearing the Wizards' name in the lottery portion of the draft is becoming a yearly ritual, and that won't change next season, as they will be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick in 2013. 

2. Detroit Pistons

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 2-1 (33.3 percent) 

    The Detroit Pistons were an inconsistent team last year. They showed glimpses of excellence, but most of the time they struggled to compete with the top-tier teams In the NBA.

    They will take a step back next season, mainly because they didn't make any acquisitions this offseason that will help them become a more competitive team.

    Adding Corey Maggette won't change things in Detroit. If anything it will actually make them a less efficient team—if that is truly possible. Their 2012 draft pick, Andre Drummond, will struggle to adjust to the NBA, and that will be at the foundation of their struggles throughout the 2012-13 season.

    After a tough 2012-13 season, the Pistons will be at the front of the pack when it comes to landing the 2013 top pick, and that might be exactly what their franchise needs to get back to their glory days. 

1. Charlotte Bobcats

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    Odds of Landing 2013 No. 1 Pick: 1-1 (50.0 percent) 

    The Charlotte Bobcats were a lock to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, until the NBA stepped in and handed it to the New Orleans Hornets.

    Ok, that's not actually what happened, but the Bobcats earned that No. 1 pick with an abysmal seven-win season.

    The Bobcats will win more than seven games next year, but that's only because there will be 82 games next year instead of this past season's 66 games. The Bobcats didn't get better at all through free agency, as usual, and they didn't draft a player who can come in and transform their franchise.

    The Bobcats might not end up with the No. 1 pick, similar to this past year, but they will definitely have the highest odds at landing that pick.