After a year of befuddling the rest of the NBA with horrendous play, 13 teams will leave their fate to ping pong balls.
Then there's the Phoenix Suns who, try as they might, simply couldn't get over the hump to become a playoff team. In a dream world, the Suns would somehow wind up with the No. 1 pick, but that's highly unlikely to occur.
But for teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, each of which bewildered us all with their dreadful performance, it's nearly time to finally see that pay off.
Luckily for every team involved, this year's draft class is worth it. Names like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker highlight a loaded top of the board that brings hopes of turning around a franchise.
Before the lottery occurs May 20, here's a look at the full odds for all 16 teams and a few of the players they will all be hoping to draft next month.
NBA Lottery Information
When: Tuesday, May 20
|2014 NBA Draft Lottery Odds|
|Rank||Team||Chance of Winning|
|6||Los Angeles Lakers||6.3%|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||1.1%|
|11||Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks)||0.8%|
|12||Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets)||0.7%|
Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
When it comes to well-known prospects, they don't get much bigger than Andrew Wiggins.
Coming into Kansas, the small forward was coveted by nearly every NBA team. But at the start of his freshman campaign, questions started circling around the phenom's assertiveness, much like they did with Jadeveon Clowney early in his final collegiate season.
But for Wiggins, those questions were answered late in the season, as he finished the year with 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Chad Ford of ESPN (subscription required) broke down the former Kansas forward, comparing him and Jabari Parker:
Wiggins has more upside. Although he lacks the offensive polish of Parker -- and he clearly doesn't have the same aggressiveness offensively -- Wiggins' physical tools are ones that can't be taught. Parker isn't going to grow or gain the elite athletic abilities Wiggins has. But over time, Wiggins has the ability to tighten up that handle, improve the jump shot and gain more confidence as a primary offensive weapon. If he does, his ceiling should exceed Parker's. There's a little more risk there, but also more reward.
With several strong wings in this year's class like Gary Harris, Nik Stauskas and Doug McDermott, Wiggins is the clear-cut No. 1.
If he can keep his stock ahead of both Parker and former teammate Joel Embiid throughout the offseason, expect Wiggins to have his name called first on June 26.
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Buyer beware, Joel Embiid comes with plenty of injury concerns.
Despite his immense talent, Embiid's lone season with the Jayhawks ended with a concerning back injury that kept him out of the NCAA tournament. While all three top prospects are expected to skip the 2014 NBA Combine in Chicago, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Embiid's denial could be more concerning.
Jake Fischer of The Boston Globe believes the news should be concerning for teams at the top of the draft:
But with a wealth of potential, Embiid still looks like a lock near the top for lottery teams. At 7'0", 250 pounds, the Cameroon player will excel at the next level if he remains healthy. Durability clearly remains as the only issue for NBA teams looking at the outstanding all-around prospect.
Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
With the potential for more offensive production than anyone in the class, Parker is widely considered as No. 1b next to Wiggins in the 2014 draft.
Let's be honest here, getting the No. 1 or 2 pick means said team will come away with a franchise-changing player. Or at least that's the way things appear for now.
All Parker did at Duke was lead one of the most historic programs in scoring and rebounding, averaging 19.1 and 8.7, respectively. Parker set several freshman records for the Blue Devils and eclipsed the 20-point mark in each of his first seven games.
That type of scoring doesn't go unnoticed amongst NBA executives. The teams with the most ping pong balls happen to be among the offensively challenged teams in the league, so Parker's abilities will immediately help whichever team ultimately lands the top prospect.
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