Yesterday evening, ESPN held the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery. Normally, the lottery is held in New York City every summer, but the lottery was held virtually this year. Fourteen teams were vying to receive the #1 pick.
Each of these fourteen teams had a representative prepared to give the winning interview if their team received the #1 pick. Here is a list of the teams in the draft lottery along with their representative and their percentage chance-39 of winning the #1 pick. The percentage is based upon the teams' winning percentage. The teams with the worse winning percentage received a better chance in the lottery.
- Houston Rockets (17-55) represented by NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon (14%)
- Detroit Pistons (20-52) represented by NBA legend Ben Wallace (14%)
- Orlando Magic (21-51) represented by Jeff Weltman, President of Basketball Operations (14%)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (22-50) represented by former NBA player Nazr Mohammed, current Oklahoma Blue (G-League) GM (11.5%)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (22-50) represented by Cavs GM Koby Altman (11.5%)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (23-49) represented by NBA Rookie of the Year Runner-up Anthony Edwards (9%)
- Toronto Raptors (27-45) represented by current NBA player Fred Van Vleet (7.5%)
- Chicago Bulls (31-41) represented by Bulls GM Marc Eversley (4.5%)
- Sacramento Kings (31-41) represented by Kings GM Monte McNair (4.5%)
- New Orleans Pelicans (31-41) represented by Pelicans VP of Basketball Operations Swin Cash (4.5%)
- Charlotte Hornets (33-39) represented by current NBA player Miles Bridges (1.8%)
- San Antonio Spurs (33-39) represented by Spurs Managing Partner Peter J. Holt (1.7%)
- Indiana Pacers (34-38) represented by Pacers former Executive Nancy Leonard (1%)
- Golden State Warriors (39-33) represented by Warriors COO Rick Welts (.5%)
There was also a possibility that a few of the teams could pick up with two picks in this draft based upon previous trades over the years. Golden State could pick up Minnesota's pick, Orlando could pick up Chicago's pick, and Oklahoma City could pick up Houston's pick if those picks are not in the Top 3. If the pick is in the Top 3, then the team keeps their pick, but they have to trade next year's pick.
Here are the results of this year's NBA Draft Lottery.
1. Detroit Pistons
2. Houston Rockets
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Toronto Raptors
5. Orlando Magic
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota)
8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago)
9. Sacramento Kings
10. New Orleans Pelicans
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. San Antonio Spurs
13. Indianapolis Pacers
14. Golden State Warriors
1. Detroit Pistons. The Pistons are sitting pretty with the #1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft because the projected #1 pick is expected to be Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunnigham (20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.5 apg). Cunningham led Oklahoma State to the Big XII Tournament Final. The last time Oklahoma State was in the Big XII Tournament Final was back in 2005.
2. Orlando Magic. The Magic will have the 5th pick and the 8th pick in the upcoming Draft. Since Orlando has a multitude of holes to fill in their starting lineup after trading away Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, having two picks that high should be able to help the rebuild to be quicker than expected.
3. Golden State Warriors. The Warriors will have the 7th pick and the 14th pick. Plus, Klay Thompson will return from injury hopefully.
4. Houston Rockets. The Rockets were able to hold on to their pick since it was in the Top 3. Houston desperately needed a high draft pick for the upcoming season after finishing with the NBA's worst record last season.
5. Toronto Raptors. Based upon percentages, the Raptors should have received the 7th pick, but they were able to jump up to the 4th pick. This pick should put Toronto back into playoff contention next season.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder could have ended up with two picks if Houston would have dropped out of the Top 3. OKC still ended up with the #6 pick, but they could have possibly had the #4 and the #6 picks, but things did not bounce their way. The Thunder really needed two high draft picks this season.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota really needed a draft pick. Although the Timberwolves started to play better towards the end of the season, they needed one more high-impact player in order to be in playoff contention.
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