Community Shootaround: Draft Lottery Scenarios

The 2018 NBA draft lottery will take place on Tuesday night, as we noted in our lottery primer earlier today. While the odds favor the Suns, there are 14 NBA teams that could ultimately end up with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, creating some fascinating drama.

In a piece for The Ringer on Monday, Paolo Uggetti broke down some of the most interesting potential scenarios for the draft lottery. As Uggetti observes, the two teams still alive in the Eastern Conference Finals have a chance to get some great news before they take the court on Tuesday, since the Cavaliers own the Nets’ first-round pick, while the Celtics will own the Lakers’ first-rounder if it lands at No. 2 or No. 3 overall. The possibility of one or both of those teams landing a top-three pick at the same time they’re looking to advance to the NBA Finals isn’t good news for the rest of the league.

Of course, the Sixers would keep that Lakers pick if it moves all the way up to No. 1. It’s currently 10th in the lottery standings, so the odds of it becoming a top-three pick are slim, but it would create some terrific drama if it lands in the top three, since the balance of power in the Eastern Conference could shift significantly depending on whether the pick ends up at No. 1 (Sixers) or Nos. 2 or 3 (Celtics).

Uggetti’s other intriguing scenarios include big-market teams like the Knicks and Clippers getting a top pick — L.A. could theoretically move into the top three while keeping a second lottery selection, courtesy of the Pistons. Uggetti points to the Magic or Kings getting the No. 1 pick as interesting scenarios too, since neither of those clubs has had much lottery luck in the last few years — despite several appearances near the top of the draft.

Outside of the teams we’ve already mentioned, the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Hawks, Bulls, Hornets, Pistons, and Nuggets all have a chance to land a top pick.

What do you think? What would be the most interesting draft lottery scenario? Which team deserves some good luck the most (or least)? Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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15 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Draft Lottery Scenarios

  1. Clark K

    I can’t wait for the Cavs to get the top pick…… again

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    • Itrainsontuesday

      If the Cavs get the top pick it’s because Lebron already had a secret meeting with the League saying he’s leaving.

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      • southbeachbully

        Yeah because it’s soooooo important that the Cavs are competitive again. Your conspiracy would make sense if it were Boston, LA or NY Knicks.

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  2. jacobsigel1025

    The most interesting scenario would definitely be Philly or Boston getting the top pick but that most likely won’t happen

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    • DannyQ3913

      As a Sixers fan I don’t want anymore kids. Trade the 2 firsts for a vet

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      • Z-A

        You dont want Mikal or Miles Bridges? Both would be an upgrade over Covington.

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        • It’s funny I love Mikal, but I think Miles is not a top 10 guy. More like pick number 18.

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          • Z-A

            Yea but they need another 3. Otherwise you take Sexton bc he’d be BPA. Miles is like a Marcus Morris type tho. Very gritty player. Mikal could be more Otto Porter.

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    • df08988

      Boston cannot get top pick. In the trade, it is #1 protected.

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  3. This is crazy but some of you youngins may not realize this. For years and years the 80s 90s early 2000s this night was one of my favorites of the Season.

    As a warrior fan we sucked every year for many many years so the chance to draft 1 2 or 3 versus 8 or 9 or whatever was a highlight. Most of the time we wound up with a Adonal Foyle Patrick O’Bryantn Jiri Welsh Michael Pietrus Ike Diogu… but even when we did get a top 3 pick it was Mike Dunleavy Jr Joe Smith…. we never did get the Earth shattering once in a lifetime player.

    Fond memories of some rough days.

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    • hiflew

      That’s what people fail to realize. The #1 pick is much closer to Joe Smith or Kenyon Martin than it is to Lebron James most of the time. The #2 pick is usually even worse than that.

      As much fun as the draft is, only about 2 of the top 5 will ever develop into the best player on a team, let alone superstars. Unless this is one of those years like 1996 or 2003, there is likely only going to be 1-2 superstars in the entire draft, to go along with about 5-10 somewhat solid players, and 5-10 spot starters/6th man types. and the rest bench fodder and G Leaguers. The term lottery refers to the top half of the draft, but when you think about it, it sort of refers to the odds that you are actually going to get a franchise player.

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      • Bryzzo2016

        I think Ayton and Porter Jr. (IF his back is fully healed) could be franchise “superstar” players. I think another 4 or 5 can be all star caliber players and another 7 or 8 could be solid rotational players. I actually like this draft quite a bit.

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      • Z-A

        1. John Wall -> the playoffs
        2. Evan Turner -> the process

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  4. Z-A

    Adam Silver talking about That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named… I think the solution to tanking is a Hunger Games scenario. Each lottery team has one tribute. And just like Highlander, there can only be one, battle to the death. The champion’s team gets the #1 overall pick.

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