With the NBA's 2012-13 regular season almost over, it's time to take a look at the lottery teams in the draft this year.
We've seen some teams soar up the draft board in the NBA's lottery throughout the years, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, who ended up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, eventually selecting point guard Kyrie Irving.
Here's a look at some teams currently looking up at the top five picks who need some luck in the 2013 NBA draft lottery, complete with updated lottery standings.
|1 (tie)||Orlando Magic||20-61|
|5||New Orleans Hornets||27-54|
|7 (tie)||Washington Wizards||29-52|
|10 (tie)||Oklahoma City Thunder (via Raptors)||33-48|
|12||Portland Trail Blazers||33-47|
Sacramento Kings (No. 6)
The King could still have a shot at Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart or Michigan's Trey Burke here, but it's not a sure thing.
The Kings desperately need a point guard with the distribution skills to make everyone around him better. Combining someone like Smart or Burke with DeMarcus Cousins would be a great place for the Kings to start. Each point guard prospect has displayed the kind of leadership qualities Sacramento desperately needs.
Sacramento's current starting point guard, Isaiah Thomas, is averaging 2.23 assists per turnover, below the league average among point guards playing at least 25 minutes per game (via Hoopdata.com).
It's no surprise that the Kings rank 25th in the NBA in assists per contest.
Washington Wizards (No. 7—tie with Detroit Pistons)
The Wizards' dream prospect has to be UNLV's Anthony Bennett. They have a need at power forward (Emeka Okafor isn't the long-term solution, Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin have a ways to go) and Bennett is just the kind of electric scorer who could form a dynamic trio with the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
There's also no guarantee that Bennett falls to No. 7 overall.
Bennett would help an ailing offense that ranks 28th in the NBA in points per game and 30th in offensive efficiency this season.
Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the floor and 38 percent from beyond the arc last season with the Rebels.
Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 9)
The Timberwolves have been looking for a dynamic shooting guard for a while now. At No. 9 overall, they likely aren't going to find a game-changer, particularly if Gary Harris decides to stay at Michigan State, but the hope is that they move into the top five and have a shot at Kansas' Ben McLemore or Indiana's Victor Oladipo.
McLemore and Oladipo are different prospects. McLemore is more of a scorer, while Oladipo's perimeter game is just beginning to come around to complement his defensive ability. But either one of them would be a huge add for the Timberwolves.
Luke Ridnour is an underrated combo guard, but he's certainly not a star. Minnesota needs a star alongside point guard Ricky Rubio.
Utah Jazz (No. 14)
The Jazz need to find a legit point guard. While Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams certainly isn't perfect at this stage in his career (he's displayed bouts of inconsistency), he has the tools to be a solid starting point guard in the NBA.
Carter-Williams possesses the ball-handling, court vision and penetrating ability to lead the Jazz in the right direction moving forward. You add his disruptive ability on defense and you have yourself a player the Jazz would love to have.
The only problem is, Carter-Williams could be gone by No. 14 overall (potentially to the Dallas Mavericks), so it would be nice if Utah could move up a spot or two in the draft to grab their man.