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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NBA Draft Lottery – an All Around Success

The 2013 NBA draft lottery was bound to have conspiracy written all over it. David Stern is on his way out and many think he’d want to leave his lasting imprint yet again. Sorry, but I don’t buy into any of that talk. As evidenced by the tons of articles written explaining why Stern might ‘choose’ each one of the teams for the 1st pick, you can spin the results any way you want, and you’ll always find some ‘conspiracy’. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I don’t buy into them, lots of sports fans do, so I can’t not discuss the conspiracy theories that came out of this draft lotto.

This Draft Lottery, I believe, delivered great conspiracies and great results.

New Orleans

Conspiracy 3 – Stern seems like he’s interested in spreading the NBA to all over the globe and loves publicly backing the only Canadian team, the Raptors. But what he says publicly isn’t always the same as how he really feels; the NBA can be in Europe, but please not in Canada. There was no way Toronto was making it into the top 3 to protect their pick.
Conspiracy 2 – MJ is the greatest. But that doesn’t mean he’s a great owner. David Stern wanted to remind everyone about that, so he ensure MJ ended up with another disappointing showing at the Lottery.
Conspiracy 1 – The NBA’s greatest players don’t just pick up and switch teams while they’re still in their prime (with the obvious exception of LeBron…). David Stern loves power, so he made sure Cleveland got this pick so that LeBron might realistically come back in a year… Meaning David Stern might have taken one of the greatest players ever and got him to make the most dramatic return to a city he was once loved in then scorned in.  

Great Result 4 – The Orlando Magic would have had a Shaq/Dwight issue in a couple of years from now if they ended up taking Noel. Now that they’re 2nd pick, they are going to get Ben McLemore (as Cleveland will for sure take Noel) and likely another good player in next year’s draft. So it worked out well that they didn’t win the Nerlens Noel sweepstakes.
Great Result 3 – Remember when OKC drafted Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Jeff Green? If you took their stats last year, they’d average 90 PPG, 21.9 RPG, and 19.4 APG. Bottom Line, they draft well. So even though it’s not the #1 pick, getting Toronto’s 12th pick, will surely mean they pick up a solid player.
Great Result 2 – Washington was not the 8thworst team this past year. They are much better than that. Let’s not forget how bad they were without Wall and how good they were with him and Bradley Beal together. Add an Otto Porter or Alex Len, and they are most definitely better than the Bucks next year.  
 Great Result 1 – The Cavs got the 1st pick, but what was great was owner Dan Gilbert’s son, Nick, who has Neurofibromatosis (NF), being there for this 1st pick as well as the one that got them Kyrie Irving. I can imagine wanting to be his friend right now. He deserves all this.

I will put out a mock draft a little closer to the draft, but for now I leave you with the following questions

1 – Is Nerlens Noel a lock for the top pick?
2 – Who will be the best guard of this strong bunch?
3 – Did all of those representatives really fly in to NY just to sit there for a half hour to hear their team’s name?

Joe K

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