Playing The Lottery

Playing the Lottery

Congratulations everyone, we made it. Today is a poor man's Christmas for NBA and Draft fanatics across the world. While the actual NBA Draft day is the Holy Grail, today is a nice tease of what is yet to come. After today’s drawing, we should have a better idea of what prospects can be projected to each team.

This years NBA Draft projects to be one of the more “chaotic” ones in recent memory. The lottery this year is absolutely NUTS. There is a realistic debate that whoever gets the first overall selection, could have up to 4 different prospects to debate from. The options below will be in focus for what teams have the highest odds. We will also have a more thorough breakdown in which we describe the various prospects that each team should be debating on draft day. 

Golden State WarriorsGOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (15-50)

ODDS FOR #1 14.0%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 52.1%
  • What should happen: Top 3
  • Analysis: Let's all admit it...we are curious to see where the Golden State Warriors end up after today. With the Splash Brothers returning to full health and anxiously awaiting to remind the basketball world how good they can be...Golden State could find themselves in an interesting development if they land the Top selection today. This is one of the strangest draft classes in recent memory. While some might argue that the star power is lacking, there's some serious intrigue with the overall depth of this class. If Bob Myers is able to land the number one overall selection in today's lottery, don't be surprised if he looks to package the pick in a trade. 
  • Prospects to Consider: Memphis big man James Wiseman makes a lot of sense from a pure "fit" perspective. Myers has coveted a big man with Wiseman's skillset (DeAndre Jordan pursuit in FA & Dwight Howard pursuit before signing Andre Iguodala). Keep an eye on Iowa State combo guard Tyrese Haliburton. While the Warriors won't take Haliburton first overall, they could covet him and potentially move down to acquire additional assets. Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards deserves recognition here and a super darkhorse could be Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija.


ODDS FOR #1 14.0%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 52.1%
  • What Should Happen: Top 3
  • Analysis: We've talked a bit previously about how this is shaping up to be an extremely important offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers. You could even argue that the Cavaliers wouldn't mind moving down a couple of slots on draft night. With the rumors of a potential Andre Drummond extension in the works, as well as a talented backcourt that features consecutive lottery picks...Cleveland will find themselves as one of the true "wildcards" on Draft Day. Darius Garland is a potential breakout candidate in his sophomore campaign and Collin Sexton has shown enough flashes to warrant another year of evaluating. 
  • Prospects to Consider: Some are going to say that LaMelo Ball should be seriously considered here, but I'm not buying that Cleveland is ready to throw in the towel on the Garland/Sexton experiment yet. This roster is filled with centers, so for that same reason...James Wiseman doesn't seem to make much sense as well. Personally, I would love for the Cavaliers to target some wings in this draft. Deni Avdija should be on the radar of Cavs fans, as well as some extremely athletic/defensive specialists in Auburn wing Isaac Okoro and Florida State's Devin Vassell

Minnesota TimberwolvesMINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (19-45) 

ODDS FOR #1 14.0%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 52.1%
  • What Should Happen: Top 3
  • Analysis: Minnesota will be another intriguing team to keep an eye on today. With the acquisition of D'Angelo Russell during the trade deadline this past season, the Timberwolves are invested at the point guard position for the foreseeable future. Do they double down? The Timberwolves are going to need to continue to acquire assets and make this roster stronger. Personally, I'd love to see them continue to add to their arsenal of wings. But could a big man also make some sense here for the T'Wolves?
  • Prospects to Consider: This is the part of the draft where you start whispering "You know...Obi Toppin might be fun here." Toppin could be an intriguing fit next to franchise big man Karl Anthony-Towns. I'm still not seeing the idea of a LaMelo Ball and D'Angelo Russell backcourt. Sorry fans of chaos. This is a spot that would be fantastic for a young developing talent like Anthony Edwards to end up in. After spending their lottery selection last year on forward Jarrett Culver, the Timberwolves could add another talented wing with serious upside to the mix. Another name to monitor here is USC big man Onyeka Okongwu.

Atlanta HawksATLANTA HAWKS (20-47)

ODDS FOR #1 12.5%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 48.1%
  • What Should Happen: 4th pick
  • Analysis: Atlanta is one of those teams that would love to somehow win the lottery. With a roster oozing currently with young developing talent, the Hawks are on the rise. Remember, the Hawks added two talented wings in the lottery last year in De'andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. With the midseason acquisition of big man Clint Capela as well, the Hawks will have plenty of exciting pieces around rising star Trae Young for the upcoming season. It would be surprising to see the Hawks target a big man this early in the draft, but they will have the luxury of trying to add the best player available. 
  • Prospects to Consider: This might be the first time in which a team could surprise us and add LaMelo Ball to the mix. While I personally don't like the fit, the Hawks could argue that LaMelo could open up some freedom for Trae Young to play off of the ball. But as I said before, I don't love it. Anthony Edwards would be a dream fit here for Atlanta. A young developing stable of impressive wings including a mixture of Anthony Edwards, De'andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and sharpshooter Kevin Huerter would be an exciting unit moving forward. Isaac Okoro could make some sense as well for similar reasons. 

Detroit PistonsDETROIT PISTONS (20-46)

ODDS FOR #1 10.5%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 42.1%
  • What Should Happen: 5th Pick
  • Analysis: Detroit is a team that could seriously use some help in a hurry. The Pistons organization needs to hit on this draft and they need to get a game changing type of presence. After moving Andre Drummond at last years trade deadline for a washing machine, it's clear that the Pistons are looking to rebuild on the run. Still, the Pistons will find themselves in a good position to add another talented piece to the puzzle. 
  • Prospects to Consider: This is probably where the "big man" conversation starts to heat up in a hurry. Both James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu could be targeted prospects for Detroit. On the other side of the table, point guard would make a lot of sense as well. LaMelo Ball and international prospect Killian Hayes should be in the conversation. 

New York KnicksNEW YORK KNICKS (21-45)

ODDS FOR #1 9.0%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 37.2%
  • What Should Happen: 6th Pick.
  • Analysis: The New York Knicks and their faithful fans are praying for some Lottery night magic to fall their way. If any team could benefit from jumping up a couple of spots's the Knicks. With an entire new management running the show this year, it will be interesting to see who the Knicks decide to target on Draft night. For now, look for the Knicks to try to find themselves a floor general and someone who can play alongside RJ Barrett.
  • Prospects to Consider: This is probably where we start to get real serious about point guards. North Carolina's Cole Anthony starts to enter the conversation. Knicks fans will have plenty of LaMelo Ball dreams, but they may need to move up in order to get him if they are to land the 6th overall selection. Killian Hayes fans will grab their pitch forks if he hasn't been selected yet. 

Chicago BullsCHICAGO BULLS (22-43)

ODDS FOR #1 7.5%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 32.0%
  • What Should Happen: 7th Pick.
  • Analysis: I SWEAR...if the Chicago Bulls end up with the 7th pick again...someone needs to riot. Anyways, yes the Bulls finally have a new management under control and are in the process of making a coaching change. With a number of intriguing pieces already in the mix, including Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr, and Lauri Markkanen...It would make some serious sense for the Bulls to target some wing help with their selection.
  • Prospects to Consider: If the Bulls land the 7th selection (Sorry)...keep an eye on Devin Vassell. Another name who could be considered a reach but I would like the fit for Chicago...Villanova forward Saddiq Bey. 

Charlotte HornetsCHARLOTTE HORNETS (23-42)

ODDS FOR #1 6.0%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 26.3%
  • What Should Happen: 8th Pick.
  • Analysis: Charlotte found themselves a good one in last years first round selection PJ Washington. Now, the Hornets need to hit on another potential lottery selection in order to keep taking steps forward in their rebuild. Another good draft could do wonders for the Hornets, as their salary cap situation is about to look really nice with a number of bad contracts slowly on their way out. The Hornets could decide to go in a number of various directions depending on how the board turns out. Odds are that Charlotte will look for the best player available approach.
  • Prospects to Consider: Will be interested to see if the Hornets covet some wing help or big man help. James Wiseman would be a big get for the Hornets in this position. If the Hornets decide to add some offensive firepower to the mix, keep an eye on a number of wings including Saddiq Bey or Vanderbilt sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith.

Washington WizardsWASHINGTON WIZARDS (25-47)

ODDS FOR #1 4.5%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 20.3%
  • What Should Happen: 9th Pick. 
  • Analysis: Washington should still be throwing a party with the development and upside that last years lottery selection Rui Hachimura has moving forward. With Bradley Beal, and hopefully a healthy John Wall, this Wizards team could definitely be an exciting team to monitor in this year's lottery. I'm still not convinced, like others, that the Wizards would target a point guard with the goal of potentially "replacing" John Wall. 
  • Prospects to Consider: Killian Hayes should definitely be in the discussion here. Would love to see the Wizards add another piece on the wings. Devin Vassell or Saddiq Bey would be fantastic gets for the Wizards here. 

Phoenix SunsPHOENIX SUNS (34-39)

ODDS FOR #1 3%
ODDS FOR TOP 4 13.9%
  • What Should Happen: 10th Pick.
  • Analysis: The team that has been the talk of the bubble for the last month. After an impressive 8-0 stretch in Orlando, the rest of the NBA has been put on notice...the Phoenix Suns are ready to roll. This is quickly becoming one of the most crucial drafts and offseasons in recent history for the Phoenix Suns franchise. If the Suns can hit on this draft pick, as well as adding a couple of smart rotational pieces...Phoenix could be blossoming in a hurry.
  • Prospects to Consider: Tyrese Haliburton would be an absolute home run here and no one can convince me otherwise. The idea of Cole Anthony makes some serious sense here...but I could see Phoenix looking another direction. While most will think Phoenix needs to target a point guard with this selection...I'm not convinced. 

San Antonio SpursSAN ANTONIO SPURS (32-39) 

ODDS FOR #1 2%
  • What SHOULD Happen: 11th Pick.
  • Analysis: Well well well...Welcome back to the lottery Spurs fans. It's been too long friends. San Antonio will continue to have the Draft tradition of getting a prospect fall into their laps and we all scream at the television "HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN TO THE SPURS EVERY YEAR?!?"
  • Prospects to Consider: Saddiq Bey would be the most Spurs prospect of all-time and probably make 10 all-star teams if he get's drafted there. San Antonio has a great recognition of allowing the draft to develop perfectly for them...but they need some more offensive firepower here. Florida State versatile forward Patrick Williams could make some sense as well. 

New Orleans PelicansNEW ORLEANS PELICANS (30-42)

ODDS FOR #1 1.3%
  • What Should Happen: 12th Pick.
  • Analysis: While the Pelicans have a lot of intriguing young talent to develop, I'd still like to see them add some help on the wings. With last years selections including Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker...the Pelicans will have plenty of pieces moving forward...but they could use some help now on the perimeter.
  • Prospects to Consider: It might be a little early for Arizona freshman Josh Green here, but his defensive ability and offensive upside could make him a coveted asset with this Pelicans roster. Aaron Nesmith would be a dream fit for the Pelicans due to his size, versatility, and outside shooting ability. If the Pelicans are looking for a microwave scorer...Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey could be an intriguing option. 

Sacramento KingsSACRAMENTO KINGS (31-41)

ODDS FOR #1 1.2%
  • What Should Happen: 13th Pick.
  • Analysis: If the Kings somehow win the Lottery...then 2020 REALLY is one of the craziest years of all time. Sacramento has a very...strange offseason ahead of itself. They need to figure out what they are planning to do with their backcourt. De'Aaron Fox should be in line soon for a contract extension, and Buddy Hield seems to be the elephant in the room. Marvin Bagley III will most likely earn himself another year to prove he can stay healthy...but Sacramento needs to hit on this one. 
  • Prospects to Consider: Patrick Williams would make a lot of sense as Sacramento desperately needs some help at the forward spots. Aaron Nesmith and Memphis energetic big man Precious Achiuwa should be in the conversation as well. 


ODDS FOR #1 0.5%
  • What Should Happen: 14th Pick (via Memphis)
  • Analysis: This pick is set to go to the Boston Celtics if it is OUTSIDE of the Top 6. Meaning if you see the Memphis Grizzles/Boston Celtics logo (they are so confusing with how they announce it every year) immediately tonight...then it's going to Boston. The Celtics have one of the more youthful and talented rosters in the Eastern Conference and if they get Memphis' pick officially...the Celtics will have three first-round selections this year. Boston has some intriguing talent, including first rounders Romeo Langford and Grant Williams...but they could use some additional offensive firepower off of their bench. 
  • Prospects to Consider: Don't be surprised if Boston takes a good hard look at international prospect Leandro Bolmaro. The Spanish product plays with his hair on fire on the defensive side of the ball and has intriguing playmaking ability. Josh Green would make some serious sense here because of similar reasons. Alabama speedster Kira Lewis Jr would be an intriguing addition if he somehow is still on the board here, as well as Cole Anthony.