This year’s draft lottery was as anticipated as any in recent memory. For the franchises near the top of the draft, this event represents hope. Good luck in the lottery can mean the chance of someday gaining contender status.
Many franchises, like the San Antonio Spurs, the Cleveland Cavaliers have selected franchise changing players like Tim Duncan and LeBron James. Before we look at the winners and losers of the draft, let’s look at the official order of the draft after the draft lottery.
12: Oklahoma City (via La Clippers)
11: New York
9: San Antonio
8: New Orleans (via La Lakers)
2: Oklahoma City
Now that we know the official order of the draft, let’s talk about the winners and losers of the night of the draft lottery.
Congratulations to them on getting the top pick. Now they can draft another franchise-changing player. This has been their fourth time getting the top pick and the first time doing so since 2004 (where they drafted Dwight Howard).
The only team that moved up in the draft. They can draft an impact player to change the ceiling of the franchise (if they get it right this time). They need to draft a player that compliments De’ Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis asap.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Now the Thunder have two picks (the second and twelfth picks) that they can use to build up their core around Josh Giddey and Shai Guiedious Alexander. They can also package a few of their picks to another team in the lottery in order to gain another top ten pick if possible.
They also get the second choice after Orlando, and may get the best player. Don’t forget Kevin Durant was the number two pick once upon a time in 2007.
Getting the third pick is still great for them. First they can get a high impact player next to Jalen Green and add to the rest of their core players.
Los Angeles Lakers
Seeing that their Lottery pick is going to the New Orleans pelicans for this draft and that they (the Lakers) missed the playoffs while the Pelicans made the postseason (ironically). Despite the Anthony Davis team bringing the Lakers a title not too long ago in 2020, the Lakers have paid the hefty price and the lack of assets to show for it.
The only team to be bumped out of the top four isn’t much of a great look. They could use a top four pick to continue to build their team more going forward. However, they’ll have to settle for having the fifth pick and hopefully can still get a high impact player for their team around Cade Cunningham.
Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers
The reason why I place them both here is because if they were able to move up the draft, this could change the ceiling of their current rosters. For Indiana, getting a top four pick could have given them a future face of the franchise to pair next to Tyrese Halibuton.
As for Portland, the seventh overall pick may be fine but getting a top four pick would have made wonders for this team. Meaning that they could have gotten a solid young player to pair next to Damien Lillard or used the pick in a trade to solidify the blazers and pair a secondary star next to Lillard.
Either way, this draft will have implications on each team in the lottery. Some teams may have hit on their future face of the franchise while others may miss. Either way it’s good to see how the lottery pans out and how it impacts each team going forward for each season. Hopefully it pans out well for each team involved.