This year’s draft lottery didn’t disappoint with some surprises and, of course, some teams winning as much as a team can on lottery night, and some teams are very pissed because they lost out on a high pick or pick in general. Obviously not every team is at the same point so for some teams that big win or loss on lottery night isn’t as good or bad for one team as it is another. Let’s examine those winners and losers.
Detroit Pistons, 1st overall
They were expected to get the second overall pick, but the ping pong balls bounced exactly the way the Pistons needed them to. Now all options are on the table even though the pick is very likely Cade Cunningham, the star guard from Oklahoma State. With young players like Saddiq Bey and Isaiah “Beef Stew” Stewart already in the mix, this roster can become very interesting in two or three years if Troy Weaver makes good calls with his draft picks. Weaver’s second draft will be pivotal in getting this rebuild done appropriately and he gets the good fortune of a number one overall pick being in his possession.
Toronto Raptors, 4th overall
The Raptors were the seventh worst team by record and were lucky enough to jump three spots. This is an interesting team because they don’t have a star but have a few pretty good players. With good scouting and development maybe, this team can get a young star with this pick. When Kawhi Leonard left it opened a hole on this team they haven’t been able to fill. To know they won a title two years ago and now they’re picking the top four shows just how fast things can change. This pick gives them what they need to potentially get their team back to being a contender. At four they will likely be able to get one of Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Kuminga, Scottie Barnes and less likely maybe Jalen Green will be there.
Orlando Magic, 5th overall, 8th overall (via CHI)
This team was expected to have a top three pick but landing at five and having two top eight picks is still great to have. The Magic are a team that doesn’t have anything worth mentioning and are very much rebuilding after dealing Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls. The Magic are positioned to add two players who can legitimately be a part of their future and to hopefully become relevant for the first time since Dwight Howard went to the Lakers. Best available player would be smart for the Magic at both picks.
Golden State Warriors, 7th overall (via MIN), 14th overall
This team can’t stop getting lucky with draft picks. Last season they got a guy who could be the center of the future in James Wiseman at third overall and now they get two more picks to add guys that can help build for the future and win now. Klay Thompson will also be back next season and they still have Wiggins so again this team has luck tattooed to its ass. The Warriors can go best available and could even get the best foreign star in their eyes whether Josh Giddey from Australia or Alperen Sengun of Turkey. The present and future look very bright for this team.
Minnesota Timberwolves, Pick went to the Warriors
I’m laughing my ass off thinking about what a painfully tragic loss, especially considering for some time they had the league’s worst record, played themselves out of it and ended up with the sixth worst record, and can no longer add a high caliber talent to go with Karl Anthony-Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and last year’s first pick Anthony Edwards. Since Kevin Garnett left for the Celtics in 2007 this franchise has been a joke and can’t seem to get anything right. Last night’s lottery result for them will likely leave them just as terrible as they were last season.
Oklahoma City Thunder, 6th overall
We already know this is a complete rebuild situation and there’s isn’t anything worth shit on this team on this team as is except for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort. They were projected to get a top four pick but instead landed outside of that, and for a team with this many holes, they needed the ping pong balls to move them up not down. They can of course still get a good prospect at six but there are fewer options now than if they were a couple of picks higher.
Chicago Bulls, Pick went to the Magic
The Bulls lost their pick in the trade for Nikola Vucevic and for them, it leaves their team in a position where they aren’t anything more than a seven or eight seed but not bad enough to get meaningful picks. Having their pick which would’ve been eighth would’ve been great to go with Zach LaVine and Vucevic, and they should’ve fought for better pick protection in the trade. This is a team that’s positioned to be stuck in no man’s land until they rebuild.