May The Worst Team Lose

Last year I wrote a pissed-off mock draft after the NBA Lottery was drawn. This year I just turned my TV off and left my house. Not surprisingly, neither the Warriors nor Kings moved up, but that’s nothing new. And fortunately, the talent this year is so dreadful, that it’s not like I feel like they’ll be missing out on anyone. But it just never ceases to amaze me how the NBA Lottery can defy mathematics nearly every year. I really thought Stern was going to throw the Kings a bone this year, but I should have known better. The Lottery left me scratching my head though, and wondering two things: One, what were the odds of winning for the team that won the lottery each year? and Two, how many times in the last 15 years or so has a Northern California team moved up into the top three? The only time that comes to mind was 2002 when the Warriors got Mike Dunleavy at #3. (I have since gone back and discovered that they tied Chicago for the worst record in the league that year, but Houston got the #1 pick to take Yao, so the W’s actually moved DOWN). With all this curiosity in mind, I’ve decided to go back year by year and see who got the #1 pick, and how amazing it was that they got there….

2011 – Cleveland. They finished with the second-worst record, but won the lottery with a pick that had less than a 3% chance.

2010 – Washington. Tied for 4th worst record

2009 – Clippers. Tied for 2nd worst record

2008 – Chicago. Jumped 8 other worse teams to land hometown star Derrick Rose.

2007 – Portland. Jumped 6 worse teams to assume the Greg Oden burden.

2006 – Toronto.  5th worst record

2005 – Milwaukee. 6th worst record

2004 /2003 – Orlando and Cleveland actually had the worst records in those years.

2002 – Houston. 5th worst record

2001 – Washington. 3rd worst record in a terrible draft

2000 – New Jersey. 7th worst record

1999 – Chicago. 3rd worst record.

1998 -Clippers. 3rd worst record.

1997 – San Antonio. 3rd worst record.

About mceezy

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6 responses to “May The Worst Team Lose

  • classic17

    They keep talking about this being rigged on SportsNation. I really have no idea and I don’t really care, but it always does seem like the most interesting story line gets the top pick. If it wasn’t like the 8th pick jumping up to number one then I wouldn’t have a problem with it. The best odds are always like 25%, which means three out of four times they’re not going to win it…but to jump from 6th to first or 7th to first….that’s a little much.

  • Chris Humpherys

    I don’t see what Minnesota’s so pissed off about? Don’t they only draft point guards anyway?

    • mceezy

      Yeah, this was a blessing in disguise for Minnesota. It’s almost as if Stern said, “we’ve gotta bump them to #2 or else they’re gonna take Irving and ruin the draft.”

  • tophatal


    Conspiracy theorists out there are none too happy with the process but this has become the stupidity of the NBA as it’s simply being done to elicit more excitement . NBA Draft ,Lottery ? Hell why not simply have Stern tell a team who they’ll ultimately get ?

    tophatal …………..

  • chappy81

    I think we’re on the same page. It’s amazing how many times the Kings and Warriors move down instead of up in the draft. Doesn’t matter how many ping pong balls are in there Norcal loses in the lottery. Kinda weird Stern rigged it for the Cavs since Gilbert has been a somewhat crazy owner. I guess if they give one to Sterling then they can give one to Gilbert…

  • NBA Mock Draft « Doin Work

    […] Now that the season’s been over for a few days, I guess it’s time to do a mock draft! It’s been called a weak draft class by just about everyone, and I have no solid reasons to say it won’t be, but on the other hand you never really know until the guys start playing in the NBA whether they can survive or not. I mean all 5’6″ of JJ Barea started on a finals team afterall, so you never really do know. Looking at a bunch of other mocks online I’ve seen a lot of international players in the lottery, so I’ll put a few of those guys in mine as well. Pretty much every player in this draft looks like a crapshoot, so here’ show I think the lottery teams should draft, but it’s doubtful they will heed to my advice. It’s like thinking the W’s or Kings will actually get a top 3 pick… […]

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