Before the Warriors’ Game 2 slaughter of the Spurs, we got treated to the fate of the teams that didn’t make the playoffs in the NBA Draft Lottery. The lottery is the de facto outcome for most teams in the league, and where franchises (and jobs) are made or destroyed. So who had a good night, and who got sour results? First, let’s see the order, and then tell you what you need to know:
10. Kings (From NO)
5. Kings (Swag with Philly)
3. Sixers (From Kings)
1. Celtics (From Nets)
Kings Get a Haul
The Kings had a bid for the best draft night, landing the 10th overall pick from that trade with the Pelicans for Boogie. Then their pick landed in the top three, but a pick swap with the Sixers sent them back to five. Still, the Kings’ pick wasn’t supposed to be near the top five, and they still nabbed one anyways. Getting two lottery picks in this deep draft is a great place to be, and is at least some compensation for losing their franchise piece.
— Dustin Toms (@Dustin_Toms) May 17, 2017
Ghost of Hinkie Pays Off
So that aforementioned pick swap with the Kings? Yeah, that was Hinkie. Coming into tonight, the Sixers had the opportunity to land up to two top-five draft picks, and that is completely thanks to former GM Sam Hinkie. Instead, the Sixers still landed a top three pick thanks to the pick swap, and will probably have the pick of the litter after Fultz-Ball. Finally some good news for the Sixers.
Sam Hinkie goes into the rafters. Thank you Sam. pic.twitter.com/O2zMTxyj9F
— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) May 16, 2017
Lakers Catch a Break
The looming trade hanging over the Lakers’ head that could have cost them their pick if it fell outside the top three finally hangs no longer. The Lakers front office has been on pins and needles sweating the idea of losing a key piece of their rebuild to the Sixers, and Magic Johnson showed it all night. Instead, the Lakers moved up into the top two and will have their pick of a point guard at the two spot. The Lakers got their break, even if it didn’t shock any of the conspiracy theory fans around the NBA.
— LakersNation PH (@LakersNation_PH) May 17, 2017
Lonzo Gets His Wish – or is it Lavar’s?
Lonzo Ball has been the talk of the NBA since the regular season ended because of his boisterous father. The Big Baller Brand has dominated NBA discussions, with Ball looking at potential teams as a potential distraction. Still, Lavar Ball has said his son wants a place with the Lakers, and has rumored that he’ll do whatever’s needed to get him there. It may not be necessary now, with Ball looking like the sure number two prospect and the Lakers getting number two. No way this backfires for everyone involved.
Magic Johnson be like 😭 pic.twitter.com/kr985tl0na
— Legends (@LegendsofCH) May 17, 2017
The Rich Get Richer
The Celtics, as if they needed any additional help, landed the number one pick from the Nets that they’ve been savoring all year long. That means that the Celtics won the Markelle Fultz lottery, largely considered the best prospect in this draft. That means that the number one pick could be backing up Isaiah Thomas next year, for a team that was already the youngest number one seed in NBA history. Yeah, don’t remind me.
And look what I leave behind for the Celts on my way out #1 pick😂👌🏾🙏🔥
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) May 17, 2017
Characters All Around
Much like everything the NBA puts on, the draft lottery gave us a fair share of highlights and characters, from Magic and his praying, to Embiid and his facial expressions. While most of it went chalk, there weren’t many clear losers from the lottery, except maybe the Suns falling out of the top three.
Embiid sees a bright future with the Sixers’ No. 3 pick. pic.twitter.com/wThygARW0f
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2017
Joel Embiid is all of us trying to figure out how the lottery actually works
— Arab Iverson ♛ (@nadineee23) May 17, 2017
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) May 17, 2017