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NBA draft lottery: Who needs to win most?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 20, 2013 @ 7:55 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
Although there are several players who would like to lay claim to the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft, it is widely assumed that University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel will be the first name David Stern calls out on June 27. On Tuesday, in a ceremony that will air at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN, the winner of the draft lottery will be announced.
Because they had a league-worst 20-62 record in the regular season, the Orlando Magic are in pole position to win the No. 1 pick. Behind them are the Charlotte Bobcats (21-61), Cleveland Cavaliers (24-58), Phoenix Suns (25-57) and New Orleans Pelicans (27-55).
The question of who will be picking first will be answered on Tuesday. The more pressing question is who needs it the most.
The 2013 draft is unique in that it doesn’t feature any players who are projected to be superstars. There’s no Anthony Davis, no Kyrie Irving, no John Wall and no Blake Griffin. It’s unclear when Noel will even make his NBA debut — he hasn’t played since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in February.
Because of this, the team that lands him cannot expect immediate results. It takes time for rookies to adapt from the college game to the pro game in the best of circumstances, and factoring in recovery from a serious knee injury won’t help matters. The team that lands him cannot be one that is placing all of their future hopes in him.
These are the teams that could benefit the most from landing the top pick:
1. Phoenix Suns (11.9% chance of winning draft lottery)
The Suns recently hired former Boston Celtics assistant Ryan McDonough as general manager, and he wants to rebuild through the draft. Phoenix has a solid starting point guard in Goran Dragic, but otherwise they have needs virtually everywhere. Landing the first pick in the draft would give fans something to be excited about for the first time since the departure of Amar’e Stoudemire in 2010 ended their run of playoff contention.
2. Charlotte Bobcats (19.9%)
The Bobcats are due for a bit of … [For more on 2013 NBA draft lottery: Who needs to win most?, click here.]
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