2011 NBA Draft Lottery: Why Each Team Needs the No. 1 Pick More Than the Others
The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery begins Tuesday night, May 16th at 8:30 p.m.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to get the first overall pick owning 25 percent of the lottery balls. Cleveland is second with a 19.9 percent chance.
The reason why the top two picks are so important is because the No. 1 and 2 overall picks will be, by far, the greatest two prospects in the draft. Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are expected to be selected first and then after them, the talent pool drops a level.
Stranger things have happened the past couple of years though. Washington had only a 10 percent chance in 2010 and they secured the No. 1 pick that enabled them to get John Wall.
All 14 teams will be hoping for their own chance to pick first off the big board. Here is why each team needs the first pick and what it could mean for the franchise.
Chance to win Lottery: .5 percent
Hmmm...didn't the Rockets trade away one of their core players in order to clear some space and pick up a few prospects?
Shane Battier and his style of play could never be exactly replaced in Houston, but getting Derick Williams sure would be pretty darn close.
The Rockets are a struggling franchise that is going in the completely wrong direction. They do not have that player that a team can build a franchise around. Williams could be that guy.
Chance to win Lottery: .6 percent
Phoenix loves Steve Nash and the feeling is mutual, but I wonder how long this marriage can actually last. Nash is scheduled to be a free agent next summer and his name will certainly swirl around in some trade rumors for the next year.
The Suns right now do not have the pieces to compete so getting rid of Nash and getting something in return might be the best possible solution.
A surprise that could make things a lot easier is if the Suns got the No. 1 pick and drafted Kyrie Irving as Nash's replacement. Phoenix would need a floor general in the eventual absence of Nash and Irving can be that guy and a whole lot more.
Golden State Warriors
Chance to win Lottery: .8 percent
The Golden State Warriors are another team that is right there. They are waiting for their opportunity to pounce and start to make a run in the Western Conference.
Golden State has three potential All-Stars in their starting lineup and a fourth could be coming if they were to win the Lottery.
The Warriors only weakness in their lineup right now is at the C position. Getting a player like Derrick Williams means that Golden State would have three guys in their front court that are 6'9". David Lee has played C before and can be moved into that role in a limited basis. The big men of Lee, Williams and Dorrell Wright could cause havoc for opposing teams.
Chance to win Lottery: 1.1 percent
The Bucks already have their franchise PG in Brandon Jennings and they need a SF to put into their starting lineup. What better match can you find for Milwaukee than Derrick Williams.
Milwaukee has been in the basement of the Eastern Conference ever since Michael Redd's career started to take a nosedive. The Bucks could be right back in the thick of things with a player like Williams.
The buck won't stop here, because Milwaukee could end up advancing into the playoffs with this lineup.
Chance to win Lottery: 1.7 percent
Right now, Charlotte is all about D.J. Augustin, who took over for Raymond Felton after he left for New York last season. He finished the season averaging almost 15 points per game and over six assists per night.
Augustin may be one of the most underrated players in the league. He is definitely one of the more underrated PG in the NBA.
The bigger need for a franchise that is struggling is someone who can step into Boris Diaw's shoes once he departs the city. The Bobcats are struggling to find an identity as a franchise and Derrick Williams could help get them back on the right track.
Chance to win Lottery: 4.3 percent
Rodney Stuckey showed so much potential when he got the chance to play after Chauncey Billups went to Denver. Stuckey is a bigger PG who uses his size to create mismatches all over the court. He also uses his attitude to carry himself as a little arrogant off the court as well.
Stuckey showed a lot of potential, but never really fulfilled it because of his off the court issues.
Kyrie Irving is the complete opposite of Stuckey. Irving is a coach's and a franchise's dream character guy, who also happens the best player in the 2011 draft class.
The Pistons need to rebuild and rebuild fast because their fan base is dying slowly. What better way than to restart with Kyrie Irving as their PG.
Chance to win Lottery: .7 percent and 7.5 percent (two picks)
For years, the Jazz have been so close and yet so far away. Obviously, the Deron Williams thing did not work out in Utah as they unloaded him to re-tool the current team.
One look up and down Utah's roster and you will see a young core that has a boat load of potential. With a guy like Derrick Williams or Kyrie Irving, the Jazz could become next year's OKC Thunder.
A No. 1 pick could mean a trip back to the playoffs next year and possibly beyond.
Chance to win Lottery: 7.6 percent
This is my pick to win the West next year if the Kings are able to pull off getting Derrick Williams.
OK, maybe not win the West, but they will compete and battle with the toughest teams night in and night out. With Williams, the Kings will have one of the best and youngest core group that should be together for a long time. They may not stay in Sacramento, but they will be Kings.
If they resign Marcus Thornton, the Kings will probably have one of the best offenses in the entire league. You will have to score 120 to beat this team.
Chance to win Lottery: 11.9 percent
Let's make it two years in a row that Washington wins the Lottery. Wouldn't that be something?
The Wizards need all the help they can get right about now. John Wall is the cornerstone of a bright future for the franchise, but the present looks bleak.
The present could immediately turn into hope with Derrick Williams coming to town. Williams and Rashard Lewis could split time between the PF and SF positions.
All the Wiz need now is a shooter and some new uniforms because those throwbacks are hideous.
Chance to win Lottery: 15.6 percent
Jerryd Bayless really stepped his game up in the second half of the season when he saw more playing time. He was supposed to be a franchise PG, but has never seen the court enough for general manager's to see his ability.
With Bayless' breakout season, the Raptors could look towards their frontcourt needs at PF and SF. Andrea Bargnani is the franchise piece, but Derrick Williams could also be franchise piece number two.
Williams' game somewhat resembles Chris Bosh's, and we all know where he ended up. Toronto needs a player to be excited about. Derrick Williams will not only draw fans into the arena, but he will also draw Toronto some more wins.
Chance to win Lottery: 2.8 percent and 19.9 percent (two picks)
Baron Davis certainly is no slouch at the PG position, but if the Cavaliers want to build for the future, they need a young PG like Kyrie Irving.
For how bad the Cavs have been the past season, I give a lot of credit to the Cleveland fans. After LeBron James left, fans still stormed Quicken Loans Arena and were at the top of the NBA attendance lists.
Cleveland deserves a true leader and someone who their city can emulate and build around. With Irving, the first piece is in place.
Chance to win Lottery: 25 percent
Will he or won't he? That is the question that the Timberwolves would like to know before the NBA Draft in June. Will Ricky Rubio ever become a T-Wolf?
The question likely will not get answered so Minnesota has to go about its business like he will not be with the team. Lucky for them, another future franchise PG is waiting to be taken No. 1 overall.
Kyrie Irving will fit this Minnesota team like glue sticks to paper. Another young team that could grow the next few seasons, the Timberwolves have the making of a star-studded lineup.