After an entire season of speculation and projections, the lottery picks for the 2014 NBA draft are finally set to be decided in Tuesday night's spectacle.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks will be sitting pretty entering the lottery with the best odds among the 30 teams. But it's a lottery for a reason, and the top pick is up for grabs for any of the 14 teams that failed to make the postseason.
While every team will be gunning for the No. 1 overall pick, this year's draft figures to have a heap of value at the top of the board. Landing any one of the top picks has the potential of changing the face of a franchise.
With so many teams putting their chips all in to this year's draft and building toward the future for this very reason, the futures of many organizations could be decided by a few ping-pong balls.
Here's the complete list of lottery odds for those 14 teams:
|6||Los Angeles Lakers||6.3%|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||1.1%|
|12||New York Knicks||0.7%|
The draft order won't be set in stone until after Tuesday night's lottery, but let's look at how it is projected to shape out if the teams with the best odds win the top picks:
|6||Los Angeles Lakers|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans|
|12||New York Knicks|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|24||New Orleans Hornets|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||San Antonio Spurs|
No matter who ends up landing the top three picks in the draft, it's of little doubt who is going to see their names come off the board immediately upon the action beginning in New York's Times Square Studios.
Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid have emerged as the top options by most folks heading into the June 26 draft.
But despite that, the trio all opted not to participate in the NBA draft combine, per ESPN's Chad Ford:
Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker will skip the Combine. Adreian Payne & Mitch McGary out with injuries— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 12, 2014
It didn't make much of a difference for Wiggins exposure-wise.
He was able to light up social media and re-ignite talk of his draft status with one simple Instagram post by P3 Sports Science that showcased his vertical:
Outside of Embiid, Parker and Wiggins, the level of talent doesn't drop very much. In fact, picks No. 4, 5 or 6 just might end up landing the best player in the draft when it's all said and done.
Among the list of players with that type of potential is Dante Exum. The forgotten man opted to stay in Australia this past season instead of playing NCAA basketball, but it hasn't hurt his draft stock very much.
Exum was one of the top players to attend the combine and has left tons of basketball pundits impressed, including ESPN's Jeff Goodman:
Dante Exum had a 31.5 standing vertical and a 34.5 inch max vert. Solid.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 16, 2014
The Boston Celtics are one of a few teams who could end up with a top-five pick, and the following tweet suggests both sides might be interested:
Dante Exum was asked what he thinks about when he hears 'Boston Celtics.' Answer: "I think about the rich tradition."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 16, 2014
Julius Randle is one of the more captivating names on the list. Paired in with Wiggins and Parker to start the season, the Kentucky one-and-done was seemingly replaced on the Mount Rushmore of this year's class by Embiid.
But Randle hasn't really fallen far at all. He led the nation in double-doubles and averaged 15 points and 10 boards, as well as 70 percent shooting from the free-throw line.
Plus, he was one of the only top names to make it to Chicago for the combine, as the 76ers Twitter account captured him spectating during a portion of the action:
From Randle, to Wiggins, to Parker, to Embiid, to Exum and more, there is no shortage of elite talent and superstar potential at the top of the class.
Then, throw in other names such as Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, Gary Harris, Doug McDermott, Dario Saric and plenty more, and it's obvious that this class is loaded from top to bottom with talent that will make an early impact in the Association.
Tuesday is certainly shaping up to be a big day for the NBA as teams will find out from where they will pick and thus be able to figure out who might be available when they're on the clock.