The NBA draft lottery is all about hope. Down-on-their-luck teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves and rebuilding traditional powers like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers all have a chance to turn their franchise around with one lucky draw of the ping pong balls.
But alas, only one team can win the top pick while the other 13 curse Lady Luck. The Knicks, in particular, were left shaking their fists when they fell to the fourth slot in the draft. Here's a look at the way the rest of the lottery shook out:
The Timberwolves had the best chance of winning the lottery, but it's still somewhat of a surprise they landed the top spot, as NBA on ESPN points out.
If the T'wolves keep their pick, they will have the past three No. 1 picks on their roster. The Wolves acquired Anthony Bennett and this year's Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Kevin Love trade.
Now the Wolves will have their choice of which player they want to add to their young core of Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Nikola Pekovic.
Who will the Wolves choose? Will they consider trading their pick? A lot still has to happen before the draft on June 25. For now, let's take a look at an early mock draft of the first round.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky
2. LA Lakers: Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
3. Philadelphia 76ers: D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State
4. NY Knicks: Willie Cauley-Stein, F, Kentucky
5. Orlando Magic: Justise Winslow, G/F, Duke
6. Sacramento Kings: Emmanuel Mudiay, G, Democratic Republic of the Congo
7. Denver Nuggets: Kristaps Porzingis, C, Latvia
8. Detroit Pistons: Mario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia
9. Charlotte Hornets: Stanley Johnson, F, Arizona
10. Miami Heat: Trey Lyles, C, Kentucky
11. Indiana Pacers: Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame
12: Utah Jazz: Frank Kaminsky, F/C, Wisconsin
13: Phoenix Suns: Myles Turner, C, Texas
14: OKC Thunder: Devin Booker, G, Kentucky
15: Atlanta Hawks: Sam Dekker, G/F, Wisconsin
16: Boston Celtics: Bobby Portis, F, Arkansas
17: Milwaukee Bucks: R.J. Hunter, G, Georgia St.
18: Houston Rockets: Tyus Jones, G, Duke
19: Washington Wizards: Kevon Looney, F, UCLA
20: Toronto Raptors: Montrezl Harrell, F/C, Louisville
21: Dallas Mavericks: Delon Wright, G, Utah
22: Chicago Bulls: Chris McCullough, F, Syracuse
23: Portland Trail Blazers: Christian Wood, F, UNLV
24: Cleveland Cavaliers: Justin Anderson, F, Virginia
25: Memphis Grizzlies: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, F, Arizona
26: San Antonio Spurs: Rakeem Christmas, F, Syracuse
27: LA Lakers: Terry Rozier, G, Louisville
28: Boston Celtics: Jarell Martin, F, LSU
29: Brooklyn Nets: Olivier Hanlan, G, Boston College
30: Golden State Warriors: Terran Petteway, F, Nebraska
The top three here go as you would expect. The Wolves and Lakers take the top two players in the draft, with the Wolves going with the versatile Towns to anchor their defense. The 76ers get the point guard they need in D'Angelo Russell.
The first shakeup comes at No. 4 with the Knicks. Here, Phil Jackson takes Willie Cauley-Stein out of Kentucky. Cauley-Stein is an excellent defensive player, and he would provide the Knicks with the rim protection they desperately need.
And as Cauley-Stein showed in the NCAA tournament, he could guard four, potentially five, positions in the NBA. He stayed with Jerian Grant all the way up the floor on the final possession against Notre Dame in the tourney.
As Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star said, Larry Bird is one executive who thinks highly of Cauley-Stein.
Speaking of Bird and his Pacers, they go with a player right out of their backyard. Jerian Grant is a combo guard who played at Notre Dame, so the Pacers brass probably had plenty of opportunity to see him play. He's a guard who can get his own shot, which can help take the pressure off of Paul George as he returns from his leg injury.
A team that doesn't make too many appearances at the lottery is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here we have them taking Devin Booker out of Kentucky. The Thunder probably won't get a starter at No. 14, but Booker could be the perfect player to give them a spark off the bench with some outside shooting.
Who do you want your favorite team to select? Sound off in the comments below, or let Justin know on Twitter @JustinNeuman10