You know what most writers are writing right now? Winners and losers of the draft lottery.
Do you know what the best writers are writing right now? Losers and losers of the NBA draft lottery.
Here is how every single team in the NBA Draft lottery actually lost the drawing last night:
Boston Celtics: Markelle Fultz is great. I’m sure he’s going to be an awesome Celtic. You know who’s already an awesome Celtic? Isaiah Thomas.
This Boston team thrives on chemistry and goodwill. How will that hold up when a superstar prospect at Isaiah’s very position shows up next season? How are the rest of the Celtics going to feel when Fultz’s presence pushes Avery Bradley and/or Marcus Smart out the door as free agents?
Oh, and as I wrote a few weeks ago, the Celtics would very much like to sign Gordon Hayward. With the No. 1 pick’s salary on their books rather than a lower one, clearing the cap space is going to be that much harder. If last year’s two first round picks who spent the season overseas, Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Žižić, come back and join the Celtics as expected, it would take a significant dump of salary to clear the room to bring Hayward in. That probably means either Smart or Jae Crowder. As great as Fultz will one day be, losing an immediate rotation player for him won’t be ideal for next year’s team as they try to win the championship.
Los Angeles Lakers: Who’s ready for LaVar Ball, Lakers GM? I’m setting the over/under for Magic’s resignation at April, 2020 with LaVar jumping in a month later and representing them at the lottery that May. In fact, with him at the wheel, the Lakers will probably be there long enough to draft LeBron James Jr. in 2024. LaVar is a fan, after all.
Philadelphia 76ers: Yes, yes, I know that they lost out on a potential No. 4 or No. 5 pick from the Lakers and will have to wait yet another season to collect that debt. But more importantly, Joel Embiid might ditch the Sixers and go become a movie star:
You can’t teach charisma like that. Screw representing the Sixers. Let’s just make Embiid host the lottery every year. Let him pull the logos out of the envelopes and give him free rein to comment as he pleases. You know what? We don’t even need the envelopes. Let Embiid pick the draft order. What can I do to make Joel Embiid our next President?
Phoenix Suns: Tuesday was literally the first time in human history that karma frowned upon doing something nice for a special Olympian. If Magic had brought one the Lakers would somehow have ended up with the top three picks.
Sacramento Kings: It sucks that a 2015 cap-clearing trade pushed the Kings from No. 5 down to No. 3, but at least Sacramento used that money to put a contending roster around DeMarcus Cousins.
Orlando Magic: You can’t lose the lottery any worse than the Magic have already lost their general existence.
Minnesota Timberwolves: You realize there was a moment in time when the Timberwolves could have had Fultz, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and max space this summer, right? We came a few ping pong balls away from a homegrown Warriors replacement that would have won infinity titles and made Minnesota the center of the basketball world. Minnesota!
New York Knicks: I’m ready for anything with this pick. There was a slim chance that at No. 7, the ability to do something stupid would be taken out of Phil Jackson’s hands entirely by something ridiculous happening. If De’Aaron Fox or Jayson Tatum had fallen, he’d have no choice but to draft him. But neither of those two, or Malik Monk, are making it to No. 8. Naturally, this means the Knicks will use the pick on Renaldo Balkman.
Dallas Mavericks: They already share a state with Kawhi Leonard and James Harden. Throwing a Lakers team lucky enough to keep their top-three lottery pick three years in a row into their conference isn’t exactly helping things.
New Orleans Pelicans: Semi-serious question: did the Pelicans HAVE to limit the protection on their pick to the top three? Couldn’t they have just told Vlade that they were doing top-three, then told the league it was top-10 protected and claim that Vlade was just confused by the language barrier? Who would the masses believe?
Charlotte Hornets: This seems as good a time as any to remind you that the Hornets turned down an unprotected Nets pick along with multiple other firsts to take Frank Kaminsky. We don’t know which Nets pick. mind you. But it doesn’t even have to be Fultz for the Hornets to be stupid. I wouldn’t trade Jaylen Brown for a dozen Frank Kaminskys.
Detroit Pistons: Being a Pistons fan right now must be like being a single mother hearing about some new corporate tax cut. The league should not be handing No. 1 picks to teams who made the Eastern Conference Finals in a world where the Pistons can barely put a functional offense on the floor.
Denver Nuggets: The Lakers are going to need a center to go with their fancy new point guard. Naturally, that means Nikola Jokić will find his way to Los Angeles by next February.
Miami Heat: There is literally no outcome less desirable when you start a season 11-30 than winding up with the No. 14 pick. You don’t make the playoffs and you don’t get a great rookie either. I bet that 30-11 second half will keep Heat fans warm when they’re below .500 next season and know that Phoenix has their pick.