The NBA Draft lottery came and went like a tempest, and as we are picking up the pieces it’s time to reflect on the biggest losers: The Suns, Bulls, Cavs, and NBA league office. Here’s why:
The Suns and Cavs were alongside the Knicks as having the best odds at the first overall pick — and thus Zion Williamson — at 14%. Instead the Cavs are picking fifth and the Suns are picking sixth in a three-star draft. For common fan interest, it’s a good thing that these teams did not sneak into the top three but their fan bases and front offices cannot be thrilled right now.
The Bulls had a 12.5% chance for the first overall pick and slipped all the way to seventh. This, in many ways, is karma for the Bulls front office. The Reinsdorfs have every reason in the world to move on from John Paxson and Gar Forman, and this lottery result almost certainly ensures another season of futility in Chicago.
When it came down that the Knicks and Lakers were in the final four along with the Grizzlies and Pelicans, the league would have secretly done cartwheels if one of those two teams had won the Zion Williamson sweepstakes. This is no disrespect to New Orleans which is a tremendous American city, but they really haven’t distinguished themselves as a big basketball town. While this creates an intriguing storyline from the perspective of what it means for the future of Anthony Davis, it would have been a lot more interesting for the aggregate public for Zion to land in New York or LA.