NBA teams holding the top 14 draft selections will let randomness determine their franchise's future during the annual lottery.
Some rational consumers won't toss aside $5 for a lottery ticket, knowing the odds work against them generating a quick, easy profit. Imagine sitting helplessly as ping-pong balls in a disclosed room decide the draft order, potentially altering future championships with each random draw.
Before the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers square off in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the league's bottom-dwellers will have their moment in the sun during Tuesday night's draft lottery. With a loaded draft class featuring Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid, the stakes are high for Tuesday night's proceedings.
2014 NBA Lottery Schedule
When: Tuesday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET
|Los Angeles Lakers||6.3%|
|New Orleans Pelicans*||1.1%|
|Orlando Magic (from New York Knicks, via Denver Nuggets)||0.7%|
* Picks may switch hands depending on lottery results
Although this is certainly a good year to crack the top three, all hope is not lost for those not fortunate enough to secure such prime positioning.
He's not as known and hyped as the big three freshmen leaving college early, but Australia's Dante Exum will draw plenty of interest inside the top five. The international guard of mystery stole all the NBA combine attention with scouts eager to see him on display.
ESPN's Chad Ford reported some encouraging results.
Dante Exum with a 10.75 sec lane agility drill score. Ran a 3.19 second 3/4 sprint. Both scores top among all 2 guards he's testing with.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 16, 2014
No prospect is invisible due to the Internet. YouTube videos such as this one offer a taste of what the dynamic prospect brings to the table, but highlight reels don't tell the whole story. Exum also told Sports on Earth's Sean Highkin that he has harnessed his game in preparation for going pro.
"My game has changed a whole lot since those clips," Exum said. "I'm a get-to-the-rim type of player. I dribble and draw help to find players, which puts me in a good position to be a point guard. I also want to be that kind of vocal leader on the floor, the voice of the coach."
Exum should go around the No. 3-5 range, so the Milwaukee Bucks don't have to worry about emerging empty-handed if they slide down as low as No. 4.
Some teams can't rest easy with such a safety net. There's especially a lot on the line for the Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves, who need things to play out right in order to preserve their place in the first round.
Before modifying the order, the Pistons are slotted to pick No. 8. Should the pick fall lower, the Charlotte Bobcats—soon to change back to the Hornets—would inherit the selection courtesy of a 2012 trade that netted Ben Gordon for Charlotte.
New Orleans is less likely to keep its precious pick, which currently sits at No. 10 before the ping-pong balls have their say. The Pelicans—formerly the Hornets, still with me?—need to vault up into the top five, unless they'll surrender the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers courtesy of last year's Jrue Holiday trade on draft night.
If the Minnesota Timberwolves are allotted the No. 14 selection, their pick transfers to the Phoenix Suns, who also brandish the Pacers' and Washington Wizards' Round 1 selections. Minnesota would feel relieved just to stay at No. 13 so it can add another piece to a squad who future is foggy with news of the organization beginning to shop superstar Kevin Love, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
"For the first time, [Saunders] sounds like looking at deals for [Love] is an option," one rival executive told Yahoo Sports.
The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are among many teams determined to make hard runs at trades for Love, league sources said. Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA draft available in offers for Love, sources said.
The Lakers and Celtics could gain some bargaining power by springing up into the top four. Then again, they may feel more inclined to pocket the pick if they can lock up a younger, cheaper future All-Star for a few years.