The NBA's draft lottery played out nearly exactly as expected last night, given the odds. Only one team, the Hornets, moved up into the top three, with the top-ranked Bobcats, Wizards, and Cavaliers each sliding down a spot and the rest of the order holding to form. Despite the lack of drastic movement, the lottery results had major ramifications for a number of clubs besides the Hornets. Let's take a brief look at the teams whose fates were most affected by the ping pong balls....
- Hornets: Of course, no team was a bigger winner on lottery night than the Hornets, who not only moved into position to snag Anthony Davis with the first overall pick, but have another top-10 pick that remained in place at #10. Davis will be the franchise-changer, but the Hornets' opportunity to add another lottery talent shouldn't be overlooked.
- Bobcats: Charlotte went from potentially having the easiest decision of the draft to having one of the hardest, with the number two overall pick. Thomas Robinson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are probably the favorites to fall to the Bobcats, but players like Andre Drummond and Bradley Beal could be in the mix too. Whoever they pick with Davis off the board, the Bobcats will be adding a solid contributor rather than a franchise player.
- Trail Blazers: Because the Nets failed to jump into the top three, the Blazers snagged their pick and now have the sixth and 11th selections. Considering the team has talked about wanting to contend immediately, it wouldn't be a shock to see one or both of those picks shopped for veteran help. Either way, Portland's trade of Gerald Wallace paid huge dividends last night.
- Nets: On the other hand, the evening was a disaster for the Nets. While they had dreams of landing the number one overall pick and moving to Brooklyn with Davis on their roster - or trading him for Dwight Howard - now they're left without a first-rounder.
- Magic: If and when the Magic trade Howard, they're not going to land an asset better than Davis, so I'd imagine Orlando was holding out hope that the Nets could luck into that top pick. After all, Brooklyn is probably the one lottery team that would be willing to give up a 19-year-old potential superstar for a big man on an expiring contract coming off back surgery.
- Warriors: Holding onto the top-seven-protected pick was a win for Golden State, but the team will want to make sure it uses that asset to improve the roster in the short-term. After all, it's not like the Warriors' debt to Utah has been extinguished. Next year, they'll owe a top-six-protected pick to the Jazz, and could risk going through this same song and dance again.
- Jazz: While the Jazz would've loved to see the Warriors slip a spot or two so that they could land Golden State's lottery pick, it's not a disaster for Utah to wait another year. With a ton of expiring contracts in 2012/13, the summer of 2013 will be a big win for the Jazz, and having a pair of first-rounders will give them even more flexibility to go along with their presumed cap space.