The 2014 NBA Draft lottery is one of the most anticipated offseason events for the 14 teams that either weren’t fortunate enough to win enough games or decided to throw in the towel early in order to compete for the most ping-pong balls in May.
The Phoenix Suns are a prime example of the former, while the Philadelphia 76ers practically announced last summer that they were gunning for prime position in this event.
Regardless, anything can happen once the lottery machine starts spinning and the balls are drawn. Teams with only a few combinations of winning numbers have been rewarded in the past, perhaps a sign that karma does truly exist.
Let’s take a look at when you can catch the lottery drawing, the final odds for every team in the league and a prediction on how things will shake out in the draft.
NBA Lottery Information
When: Tuesday, May 20
|Set 2014 NBA Lottery Odds|
|6||Los Angeles Lakers|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans|
|11||Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks)|
|12||Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets)|
*Odds via ESPN.com
Top Lottery Prize: Andrew Wiggins
There are definitely a number of players vying for the top spot, and need could dictate the ultimate decision come June, but Wiggins should be atop the big board of most NBA franchises right now.
The Kansas Jayhawks star dominated during his freshman season, averaging 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks in 32.8 minutes per game. Factor in that his program played the toughest schedule in the entire nation, by a considerable margin, and those numbers become even more respectable.
While Wiggins wasn’t always able to live up to the massive hype that surrounded him before he even made a decision on where he would play collegiate ball, the Canadian native did show that he has the upside, potential and raw skills to be a perennial All-NBA superstar at the next level.
Southern Methodist’s Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown commented on the hypocrisy of detractors quick to point out every flaw in Wiggins’ game, as per Eric Prisbell and Scott Gleeson of USA Today Sports:
I feel for Wiggins every day. You hear one game, 'Oh, he's the first pick.' Then the next game, 'Oh, I'm so disappointed.' That stuff drives me crazy. He's a 19-year-old freshman. He is a special kid.
Wiggins is special indeed. At 6’8”, 200 pounds, Wiggins has the perfect frame to play swingman in the NBA. He’s a gifted athlete that has already wowed the world with YouTube highlights showing his otherworldly leaping ability and inspired dunks.
He’s capable of putting a team on his back and willing it to victory, but he’ll need to get a bit more consistent first. The Jayhawks quickly flamed out of the NCAA tournament, losing to Stanford after Wiggins scored just four points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Wiggins is the first one to admit he has a long way to go before he can even dream of meeting the comparisons to LeBron James, as Prisbell and Gleeson reported he said as much at his draft decision press conference: "No one's game is perfect, I know I have a lot I have to improve on.”
With that sort of humbleness and work ethic, there is no doubt that this kid will eventually figure it all out. Whether he ends up in Milwaukee, Philly or elsewhere, he should be a bona fide star leading deep playoff runs sooner than later.