Two big things happened last night. The NBA Draft Lottery began an era of new hope for three fanbases. The Eastern Conference Finals started, and ended after one game, the realization that no team in that side of the bracket will ever get by LBJ's team until he calls it quits. But there's more too it than that, so buck up Utah Jazz fans. There's another #12 pick in our pockets, and lots of assets to play with. Oh, and yeah. Get your Summer League tickets. Now.
Okay, first thing first -- the NBA Draft Lottery happened. And, well, it was very "normal", perhaps, too normal. Unless you know, you factor into account that Dikembe Mutombo congratulated Philly on getting the #1 pick in the draft on Twitter hours before the lottery was reported to happen -- and then he deletes that tweet, only for Philly to win the lotto when it does happen. I'm not saying things are rigged in the NBA, but I'm also not saying that it's interesting to see what things keep happening over the years. Philly got the #1 pick (Trust the process, indeed), followed by LA and Boston. These are three of the most prestigious teams in the history of the league, by the way.
If you chart out the first round by order, but also include the data for metro area population (from Wiki), their online fan population (sum of Facebook and Twitter followers), and cross reference that against how many seasons they've been around, how many rings they have, and what their simple Prestige rank is (the sum of all the years they have been around, the number of NBA championships, conference titles, division titles, years in the playoffs, number of Hall of Fame players, number of All-Stars, and the number of people / places / or things honored in their rafters) you get the following:
|Team||Pick||From||Population (Rank)||Online (Rank)||Seasons||Rings||Prestige (Rank)|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||Lottery||3||1||68||16||1|
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||Order||28||26||14||0||30|
|19||Denver Nuggets||Playoffs||Trail Blazers||19||18||49||0||15|
|25||Los Angeles Clippers||Playoffs||4||11||46||0||24|
|29||San Antonio Spurs||Playoffs||22||6||49||5||8|
|30||Golden State Warriors||Playoffs||8||5||70||4||7|
|No 1st Round Picks||Pick||From||Population (Rank)||Online (Rank)||Seasons||Rings||Prestige (Rank)|
|x||New York Knicks||--||--||1||7||70||2||5|
|x||Oklahoma City Thunder||--||--||29||8||49||1||12|
|x||Portland Trail Blazers||--||--||20||17||46||1||18|
Yeah. I'm not calling a conspiracy on this, but almost all of the available (so not including playoff teams, save for BOS and TOR) high population / popularity / prestige teams got okay picks. New York and Brooklyn could not because they had to give up their picks this year -- the only team that didn't seem to benefit was Chicago. So I expect Chicago to win the lotto the next time they are in it.
Bottom line, after yesterday Philly got another high draft pick, the LA fans got their cake and had a great feast eating it too (Kobe Bryant 60 pt game), and BOS looks to be a playoff fixture for years to come out East.
The Sixers won the championship! Oh wait no they won the lottery, still happy for the fans though https://t.co/ITh6b8BBdo— James Plowright (@JPlowright_NBA) May 18, 2016
I love everyone that came to the Lottery Party, even the dude who got a little handsy with my girlfriend then made fun of her glasses— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) May 18, 2016
Just got out of a meeting…was so f***ing amped the entire time. The second pick in this draft is the best pick and I will fight you about it— Daman Rangoola (@damanr) May 18, 2016
It's an exciting time to be an NBA Fans.
While the lottery gives us the hope of a lot of nice future beginnings, last night seemed like the end of the Rap's season. They were devastated by the Cavs. And yes, the Spurs took it to the Thunder in Game 1 of their series a round ago as well, and ended up losing. But I don't kno w if this Toronto team can fight back. Then again, Toronto is 1-10 all-time in playoff series openers. So could just be par for the course for them.
He's the reason why you want a high draft pick -- and why teams purposefully lose games to get #1.
So a) are there any LeBron's in this draft? and b) will they be available at #12 where the Jazz are picking? Probably "no" to both, but the Jazz braintrust that went to NY had a video conference to talk about the pick. Check it out here:
MEDIA: tonight's video conference call is now available for download on the online pressroom. pic.twitter.com/7UGImAkjEQ— Utah Jazz PR (@UtahJazzPR) May 18, 2016
I don't know if this link goes anywhere though. It's been a busy morning. But if you are looking at a player at #12 (and I think the Jazz go BPA and then maybe target a player they like with a trade up or down or around), there will be plenty of talent on the board still. Historically we've had a number of really important starter / rotation players picked there: Chet Walker, Mookie Blaylock, Muggsy Bogues, Nick Collison, Julius Erving (no really), Cedric Maxwell, Mike Woodsoon, Jim Paxon, Harvey Grant, George Lynch, Greg Anthony, Don Chaney, Vladimir Radmanovic, Darrell Walker, Johnny Egan, Kelly Tripucka, Larry Costello, Thaddeus Young, John Bagley, Austin Croshere, Brian Winters, VItaly Potapenko, Jason Thompson, Michael Doleac, and the immortal Cherokee Parks are some examples. Oh, and Alec Burks and Trey Lyles too! Of course, a more impressive list can be complied by the 1st rounders who go AFTER pick #12 (year 2000 onwards): Richard Jefferson, Tony Parker, Tayshaun Prince, Hedo Turkoglu, Boris Diaw, Zach Randolph, and so on.
If there is talent to be had, Utah will find it. If there is a fit player out there, I can certain Utah will try to get him as well.
We're in good hands.
Of course, Rudy Gobert now wants one.
@rudygobert27 I got you!!!— Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40) May 17, 2016
Hilarious . . . what is the most you could ask from a former co-worker as a gift?
So the Draft Lotto is done. What's next will be about 100 more player workouts and then the NBA Draft. Almost directly after that? The Salt Lake City Summer League.
Are you going to any of these games? If I was in Utah I'd be there. You can get tickets here, and the full three-day pass is probably your best bet! If you are going, are you going to be taking pictures? If so, I'd love to feature them on SLC Dunk with some of your words!