Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery is tonight!

By Sean Mackey

The defining moments of the summer of 2010 begin tonight with the NBA draft lottery. With rumors swirling on where LBJ and other free agents will land, tonight's lottery could have a huge impact on the future destinations of players.

For those unfamiliar with NBA Draft lottery procedure, the draft machine has approximately 1,000 balls with team logos on them. The team with the worst record has 250 balls in the machine. The New Jersey Nets are sitting in the best seat in the house tonight with a 25% chance to land the number one pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves (19.9%), Sacramento Kings (15.6%) & Golden State Warriors (10.4%) follow. It is noted that the team with the worst record in the NBA hasn't won an NBA Draft Lottery since 2004 when the Orlando Magic won and later selected All-Star center Dwight Howard.

League consensus has every team regardless of already having a franchise point guard in place, picking UK freshman John Wall. Most analysts and mock drafts have Ohio State guard Evan Turner being picked second. After that, like almost every year, your guess is as good as any. This draft is slightly deeper in the big man field as opposed to last year's draft which was more guard oriented.

The reason this draft lottery is so ridiculously important this year is because of LeBron James. After his team's uneventful meltdown last week against the Celtics, the whole world has been talking about where LeBron is going to go next season. While the most popular choices among NBA nerds and analysts are Cleveland, Chicago, New York & Miami, the NJ Nets could pull ahead of the pack after tonight. The New Jersey Nets are partially owned by rapper and friend of James, Jay Z and and also by Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov. The Nets are scheduled to move to Brooklyn in a few years, Prokhorov is determined to spend big money, they have a future all-star center in Brook Lopez and a great trading chip in Devon Harris. It isn't hard to believe if they get John Wall or Evan Turner that they'll have some serious leverage on other teams also trying to covet the King. If LeBron doesn't bite, you have to think a player like Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer would also take a good hard look at the Nets as a possible 2010 destination.

Another interesting scenero would be if the Timberwolves won the draft. They would HAVE to take John Wall and that would open up the door to trade Ricky Rubio's rights to New York or L.A. It would be sort of nice to see that happen since the Knicks' draft pick goes to Utah this year due to the Tom Gugliotta trade that happened way back in 2004. They've been screwed over by terrible trades over the last 10 years and this is one of them.

As a Bulls fan though, you have to hope a team like Golden State or Sacramento wins the draft and New Jersey drops to #3 or #4 so that the Nets won't look any better than the already stellar package GarPax has put together in Chicago. Wall going to Golden State and Sacramento also aren't isn't going to hurt the Bulls Eastern Conference playoff race either.

Personally, I'm willing to bet the Detroit Pistons win tonight's draft. Why? Because it's completely ridiculous and the oddball always rolls away with a win. I'll be tweeting during the draft lottery @ www.twitter.com/chicagobullsky . Follow us for up to the minute Chicago Bulls and NBA rumors/news.