NBA 2017 Draft Lottery: Is the First Pick Determined Before the Lotto?
The NBA Draft Lottery has had a history of events happening throughout the years with teams like the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Lakers bringing the validity of the draft lottery to question. Is it all predetermined?
Of all the things that happen in the NBA that are questionable (see trade vetoes by NBA Commissioner or reneged deals after agreeing to join a team), one that probably comes in to play is the NBA Draft Lottery. The lottery seemed like a great idea on the surface, although the original idea behind it didn’t pan out quite so well.
Nowadays, teams love the lottery and hate it, depending on where they fall in the odds. Obviously it would be silly not to think that the draft order would change just a little bit during the lottery, but every once and awhile, crazy things happen at the craziest times and to the craziest teams. Here are some of the more questionable draft lotteries in history.
The Orlando Magic were the winners of the 1993 NBA Draft Lottery, the last year that they used the format with 66 total odds to get the 1st pick, starting with 11 and decreasing down to 1 odd for the 11th overall pick. At this point, there were only 11 teams in the lottery, so worst record had 11, second worst had 10 and so on.
More from The Smoking Cuban
- Dallas Mavericks: Tyrell Terry injures groin in summer league loss to Jazz
- Mavericks: How to maximize Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis pairing
- Dallas Mavericks: Did they do enough this offseason to jump into title contention?
- Mavericks: What to watch for as Dallas faces Utah Jazz in summer league
- Dallas Mavericks rumors: Bulls want first round pick for Lauri Markkanen
In this draft lottery, the Orlando Magic were coming off a .500 season and only missed the playoffs because of a tiebreaker with the Indiana Pacers. They had the first overall pick the year prior to this season when they picked up some rookie named Shaquille O’Neal. Obviously they had no belief that they would be getting the first overall pick.
When it happened, the NBA knew something had to be changed. This draft happened to be one of the ones the Dallas Mavericks really wanted to hang their hat on. After an 11-71 season, the Mavs were obviously the most likely choice at the first overall pick and were given 11 odds out of 66 to do so. Dallas ended up getting the 4th pick.
This means that not just the Magic were chosen before Dallas, but also the 76ers and the Warriors. This concern was supposed to be resolved by the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks jumped the Mavs in the draft lottery this time. Something is fishy. The Mavericks have never had the number 1 pick since the NBA Draft Lottery began.
2003, 2011, 2013, 2014
In 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers were the worst team in basketball. They really were very bad and probably deserved the top pick. However, the worst team has only gotten the top pick 6 times in the history of the draft lottery. It seems a bit suspect that one of those times happens to be when the greatest player of our generation happens to be from just down the road from Cleveland.
In 2011, the Cavaliers were back in the lottery after losing their hero, LeBron James. Immediately they are given a shot at redemption as the 8th worst team in the lottery gets the first pick. This one brought Kyrie Irving over.
In 2013, the Cavs had tanked once again but were only the 3rd worst team this time. They still managed the first pick but it was a bust as they selected Anthony Bennett.
In 2014, the Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins first overall despite having the 9th worst record in the league. Hard to believe that this all happened right in the midst of Cleveland getting their guy back home. That along with the desire to add another veteran weapon really makes this pick pretty suspect.
Next: NBA Draft Lottery 2017: Understanding the Mavericks Odds
No matter what way you look at it, the NBA Draft Lottery is probably not actually about favoritism. However, the actual selections of who wins the draft lottery has been very interesting and questionable over the years. And the Mavs have taken a big hit from that along the way.