NBA Lottery 2013 Odds: Teams That Desperately Need to Win the First Overall Pick

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2013

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 19:  Gerald Henderson #9 of the Charlotte Bobcats during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Bobcats 121-104.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The NBA draft lottery is used to prevent teams from intentionally losing for a better pick, but it also makes it tougher for struggling teams to get better.

We have seen throughout the years how one player can dramatically change an organization. LeBron James and Dwight Howard both left their original teams, but they made a huge difference with those clubs after being draft with the first overall pick.

Of course, every team would like to be the first on the clock, but not everyone needs it. The Oklahoma City Thunder will draft in the lottery thanks to the trade that sent James Harden to the Houston Rockets, but they will be just fine without another elite player.

However, these teams should be the most desperate for the top pick in the draft.


Orlando Magic

Last summer, Orlando traded away its best player and biggest draw in Dwight Howard. In return, the Magic received a few talented players like Arron Afflalo and Maurice Harkless, but no true stars.

In order for the team to get back to the postseason, the Magic will need to draft elite players at the top of the first round.

Additionally, they could use someone to bring the crowds to the arena. In 2011, this was one of the most popular teams in the league, filling up 102.6 percent of the home stadium throughout the year (according to ESPN).

This season, that number has dropped to 93.5 percent, which ranks only 14th in the league.

A top overall pick will get fans excited about the team and bring them back to Amway Center.


Charlotte Bobcats

The good news is that the Charlotte Bobcats have more than doubled their win total from last season. Unfortunately, they are still the worst team in basketball.

This young team ranks 28th in the NBA in points per game and 29th in points allowed. With an inability to either score or defend, winning becomes very difficult.

There are few long-term certainties on the roster, and almost every position could use an upgrade. Even last year's first-round pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, struggled in his rookie season.

Charlotte needs someone to bring the organization out of the cellar, and this draft is not deep enough to find one after the first few picks. 


Detroit Pistons

Greg Monroe is one of the most efficient players in the league. The problem is that a smart center who can pass well does not sell tickets.

The Pistons need a perimeter player who can score points and bring some excitement back to a proud franchise that is less than 10 years removed from an NBA title.

Although Detroit will have long odds to win the top spot, grabbing an elite scorer like Ben McLemore or Shabazz Muhammad would instantly transform this team into a playoff contender.

Of all the teams near the bottom of the league standings, the Pistons have the best chance to make a quick turnaround. Of course, grabbing a top player early in the draft is vital.


Complete Lottery Odds (via ESPN)

Seed Odds of Getting Top Pick Team as of April 10 (via ESPN)
1 25 percent Charlotte Bobcats
2 19.9 percent Orlando Magic
3 15.6 percent Phoenix Suns
4 11.9 percent Cleveland Cavaliers
5 8.8 percent Detroit Pistons
6 6.3 percent New Orleans Hornets
7 4.3 percent Sacramento Kings
8 2.8 percent Washington Wizards
9 1.7 percent Minnesota Timberwolves
10 1.1 percent Oklahoma City Thunder (from Toronto Raptors)
11 0.8 percent Philadelphia 76ers
12 0.7 percent Portland Trail Blazers
13 0.6 percent Dallas Mavericks
14 0.5 percent Utah Jazz