2011 NBA Draft Lottery Live Blog
General managers and coaches can only cross their fingers as they watch their team's future hopes bounce around.
The lottery is the NBA's way of determining the top three selections in the 2011 NBA Draft.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors close behind.
The lottery kicks off at 8:25 p.m. ET in Secaucus, N.J., and I'll be with here updating you with some live coverage of the event.
Let's get it started.
Thanks for watching with me tonight everybody. Keep an eye out for my follow-up article based on the results of the lottery tonight.
I also recommend that people watch Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
So, the only team that has picked No. 1 of the trio gets lucky yet again. Maybe they won't get LeBron James again this year, but it's rare to see a team with two picks so high.
It'll be the fourth time in team history that the Cleveland Cavaliers select No. 1. Even though the Cavs didn't have the worst record, they may have had the worst team throughout the season.
No one needs the picks quite like the Cavs do.
Utah: No. 3
Minnesota: No. 2
The four-digit code is up. The No. 1 pick belongs to...
The Cleveland Cavaliers almost got two picks in the top three. They'll have to settle for two in the top four. It'll be extremely interesting to see what duo the Cavaliers decide to run with.
Also, the Jazz and Timberwolves have never picked No. 1.
So, it's down to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz. Apparently, having two picks was a benefit, as both were selected in the top three.
Kyle Lowry, Greg Monroe and John Wall are the current players there. They have about six combined years of NBA experience. Interesting choices by their teams.
Last chance to tune in. Last commercial break before they announce the results.
The Sacramento Kings don't want to come back?
What about the Houston Rockets?
If I read the screen right, they've had five No. 1 overall picks. Talk about unlucky.
Let's see if the Rockets can be a rags to riches story with their 0.5 percent chance this year. Shooting for number six.
Kawhi Leonard is too low. Tristan Thompson is too high. Leonard is an athletic phenom that's not getting the recognition that he deserves. He reminds me of Gerald Wallace, who doesn't get enough credit either. Weird.
Is it just me or does this seem much more complex than it needs to be? Why not just have 250 balls with the Timberwolves logo and so on...
Maybe I'm missing something.
By the way, that segment completely verified my comparison to reality TV.
The rest of the teams have a combined 4.7 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick. I won't go through who they'd choose unless one of them gets extremely lucky. It has happened before.
Here are the other teams hoping to see their logo: Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets.
It's time to get started. Tune in to ESPN.
Detroit Pistons: When you get to the Pistons, you might be stretching it by hoping for the top overall pick. The Pistons have a 4.3 percent chance of earning the top selection in June, but are more likely hoping to just hear their name at all tonight.
If they strike gold and win the No. 1 pick, they'll probably lean toward Kyrie Irving. If they choose to take Irving, the Pistons will likely look to deal Rodney Stuckey this summer, or let him go in free agency.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings have only had one No. 1 pick since the lottery came into play. They selected Pervis Ellison, who was only with the team for one year.
The team would like a chance at redemption in 2011, and they have a 7.6 percent chance to get that shot. If given the chance, the Kings would likely be part of the majority that goes with Kyrie Irving. The Kings biggest weakness is at the point guard.
Utah Jazz: The Jazz actually jump the Sacramento Kings because of the pick they acquired in the Deron Williams trade. Combined, the Jazz have a 8.2 percent chance of being the happiest team of the night.
Given the opportunity to choose first, it seems pretty obvious to me that Utah would select Kyrie Irving. The Jazz did acquire Devin Harris in the trade, but they have an abundance of forwards and Al Jefferson at center, making Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter unlikely picks.
With their second lottery pick, they can address their biggest need, which is shooting guard. Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette might all be potential choices for Utah.
The Utah Jazz have never had a No. 1 pick. Could this be the first year?
Backtracking a little, let's talk about the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are third in the odds, with a 15.6 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in 2011.
The Raptors, like most of the teams in the lottery, are far away from where they need to be. They switched up their starting lineup more this season than most of the other teams in the league. The Raptors are a confused team.
Their need at small forward seems to surpass their need at point guard, so I think the Raptors would choose Derrick Williams. Williams would replace Chris Bosh in Toronto, giving fans the next forward to talk about it.
John Wall just said he told Kyrie Irving if the Washington Wizards got the first pick in the NBA draft, they could take Kyrie Irving as a backup.
The Wizards have an 11.9 percent chance of picking first on June 23. I've heard that the Wizards are extremely interested in center Enes Kanter, who I think they would take first if they had to make the pick.
Who do you think the Wizards would pick?
Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers actually have two different sets of chances to win the No. 1 pick. In all, the Cavs have a 22.7 percent chance to earn the first pick.
If their name is the one on the ping-pong ball in roughly an hour, the Cavaliers will also take Kyrie Irving. Cleveland traded for Baron Davis this season, but he's not the same player he was years ago. Ramon Sessions is a good point guard, but he's not going to turn around a franchise.
Now, I'm going to go into who I think each team would take if they got the No. 1 pick. Let's start with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the best chance at landing the top pick (25 percent).
The Wolves would be torn between taking either Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams. Either player would be replacing a Syracuse Orange player for the Wolves in Jonny Flynn (PG) or Wesley Johnson (SF).
Minnesota also has to consider when Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio will come to the NBA. With all of that in mind, I believe the Wolves would select Kyrie Irving.
They need to put more value on a player that touches the ball on every possession.
The 2003 and 2004 draft lottery winners got pretty lucky. They were just two of four teams to win the lottery when they had the best chance. The payoff: LeBron James and Dwight Howard.
Will the Minnesota Timberwolves break the six-year streak?
Jay Bilas has Kemba Walker over Brandon Knight. Although I agree, I'm surprised that an expert finally put him this high. I don't think that NBA scouts are sold on Kemba just yet.
I'd say the last three No. 1 picks were pretty decent choices. In order:
2008: Derrick Rose
2009: Blake Griffin
2010: John Wall
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