2011 NBA Lottery: 5 Scenarios That See Kyrie Irving Becoming a Toronto Raptor

Justin BoninAnalyst IMay 16, 2011

2011 NBA Lottery: 5 Scenarios That See Kyrie Irving Becoming a Toronto Raptor

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils moves the ball while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    According to Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld, Ricky Rubio should officially be a Minnesota Timberwolf within the next few weeks. David Kahn and the Timberwolves are reportedly as optimistic as they have ever been that Rubio will sign with the team.

    If this deal does in fact go down, along with the fact that the Wizards currently have their point guard of the future in John Wall, this means that the Raptors will have several scenarios that indicate a far greater chance of landing Duke point guard Kyrie Irving in this year's draft. Here are five of those scenarios...

Draft Odds...

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  NBA Commisioner David Stern speaks at the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    First, let’s take a look at the four teams that have the greatest odds of winning Tuesday's draft lottery (they’re also the only teams with more than a 10 percent chance of winning)...

    Minnesota Timberwolves: 25 percent

    Cleveland Cavaliers: 19.9 percent

    Toronto Raptors: 15.6 percent

    Washington Wizards: 11.9 percent

Draft History...

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 24: NBA Draft prospects pose for a group photo prior to the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Worst team: won lottery three times since 1990

    Second-worst team: won lottery four times since 1990

    Third-worst team: won lottery four times since 199

    Fourth-worst team: won lottery zero times since 1990

    Now I understand that what happened in previous draft lotteries has no effect on the outcome of this year’s lottery. That being said, what this does show us is that this is ultimately a “lottery” and essentially a game of chance. Any team can win, and it is not necessarily the team with the highest odds.

    That being said, let’s get to the five scenarios...

Scenario One: Raptors Win the Lottery

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils draws contact against Kyryl Natyazhko #1 and Lamont Jones #12 of the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on M
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    This would be the ideal scenario. The Raptors would have control of the board from the get-go and could pick whoever they wanted.

    As mentioned before, the Raptors have a 15.6 percent chance of winning the lottery, and as mentioned in the previous slide, history is on their side considering the team with the third-worst record has won the lottery four times since 1990.

Scenario Two: Minnesota Signs Rubio and Wins Lottery, Raptors Pick Second

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils moves the ball while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This scenario gets a bit more complicated and ultimately depends on whether or not Ricky Rubio signs with the Timberwolves.

    Hypothetically speaking, if Minnesota does sign Rubio and wins the lottery, then it has a choice to make...who does it have more faith in, Ricky Rubio or Michael Beasley?

    I would argue the Timberwolves' best option would be to draft Derrick Williams and trade Michael Beasley. This way they will fill their PG position with Rubio, SF with Williams and then can trade Beasley and possibly a future first-rounder (since they will no longer be dependant on the draft; instead they will need veteran role players) for a good center.

    This would give Minnesota the following starting rotation, which is full of potential...

    PG: Ricky Rubio

    SG: Wesley Johnson

    SF: Derrick Williams

    PF: Kevin Love

    C: (Michael Beasley trade)

    Now add in some veteran role players, and Minnesota will be sitting pretty in a year or two.

    More importantly...at the same time the Raptors will luck out and grab Kyrie Irving with the second overall pick.

Scenario Three: Washington Wins Lottery, Raptors Pick Second Overall

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Wizards already have their point guard of the future in John Wall, so there is no reason why they would draft Irving. Derrick Williams is a much better fit for the Wizards, as he fills their biggest hole at the 3 spot.

    This means if Washington wins the lottery (11.9 percent chance of happening), the Raptors could still land Kyrie Irving with the second overall pick.

Scenario Four: Minnesota Signs Rubio and Wins Lottery, Washington Picks Second

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils attempts to steal the ball from Jordan Morgan #52 of the Michigan Wolverines in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Are
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The fourth scenario is the most complex yet but works nonetheless. 

    It begins the same as scenario two, with Minnesota winning the lottery. However, in this scenario Toronto ends up with the third overall pick instead of the second.

    Minnesota would take Derrick Williams (as was the case in scenario two).

    Either Washington would take SF Kawhi Leonard, who has been surging up Chad Ford’s ESPN draft boards, or it could go with Enes Kanter, who would either replace or split time with JaVale McGee at center.

    Finally, the Raptors would end up with quite the steal, as they land Kyrie Irving with the third overall pick.

Scenario Five: Washington Wins the Lottery, Minnesota Signs Rubio & Picks Second

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats goes up for the ball against Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 201
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    I honestly see this scenario as the most unlikely of the five, but I am including it nonetheless.

    This scenario begins the same as scenario three, without a hitch, since Washington would undoubtedly select Derrick Williams with the first overall pick.

    It is the next pick where things get complicated...

    Even if Minnesota ends up signing Rubio, I am hard pressed to believe that it would pass on a player like Kyrie Irving for anyone not named Derrick Williams.

    Yes, Kawhi Leonard seems like he will be a great prospect at SF, but it simply does not make sense for Minnesota to take him over Kyrie.

    Instead, Minnesota would be better off drafting Kyrie Irving simply to trade him (or it could trade Rubio instead) for whomever it wants.

    For example, if the Timberwolves really wanted Kawhi Leonard, then it could trade Kyrie Irving to whichever team picks Leonard and get him and more since it would essentially be in the position of power as far as trade talks would go.

    Nevertheless, unlikely as it may be, if Minnesota does for some reason pass on Kyrie Irving, then Toronto would luck out and grab him with the third overall pick.

Final Thoughts

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the first half while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlot
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Kyrie Irving would be a huge step in the right direction for the Toronto Raptors. 

    Irving can literally do it all at the point guard position. He is an intelligent and skilled point guard who can score and create for his teammates. On top of that he is very athletic and a great defender.

    Your offense begins with the point guard, and on the other side of the ball he is the first line of defense. 

    With Kyrie Irving at the point for Toronto, I see nothing but a bright future for this young Raptors team.

    Thanks for reading, and do not forget to tune in to the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night.