Even though we're still knee-deep in the Playoffs, it’s time to start looking ahead to the draft. let’s look at the top 5 lottery teams odds to win the lottery, & what they could be looking for.
Minnesota Timberwolves (25%)
The Wolves won the suck award this season, they where not a very valuable NBA pick but statistically they have the best chance to win the lottery, and get their hands on the first overall pick. Of they do win the pick, they could go a number of different ways. Their point guard spot is set with Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine and while they might reach or trade the pick if they get it, if they keep it it’s going to be really hard to not select one of the top two big men on the board right now. Either way the Wolves are going to have a high pick.
NBA Odds to Win Number 1 Pick: +225
New York Knicks (19.9%)
The Knicks come in right behind the Wolves at just under a 20% chance to win the draft lottery. If the chips fall where they’re supposed to, the Knicks should be pretty happy with the second overall pick. They can get either Jahlil Okafor or Karl Anthony-Towns here, which seems like the defacto 1-2 according to most draft experts. I think the Knicks are going to keep this pick as long as it doesn’t fall outside of the top 3. If that happens it could be interesting, but if the Knicks are there at #2, they most likely are going to draft a big man.
NBA Odds to Win Number 1 Pick: +325
Philadelphia 76ers (15.6%)
If everything pans out for the Sixers, they’ll fall in the #3 spot, and this year might finally be the first year we start to see some legitimate improvement from the Sixers. We saw some at the end of the year, but with a potentially healthy Joel Embiid, and another top 3-5 pick in the NBA Draft, and we could be looking at next year’s Boston Celtics. If the Sixers fall to #3, and the two big men go off the board, Philly will most likely go after one of the top tier point guards in this draft. D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudlay would both be nice fits for a team that is still searching for a starting caliber point guard.
NBA Odds to Win Number 1 Pick: +425
Los Angeles Lakers (11.9%)
The Lakers will be in a nice spot if they land in four and the draft falls the way I propose. Much like the Wolves and Knicks situation of taking one of the top two big men, if the Lakers and Sixers get to choose between the top two point guards, they’ll probably be happy with the outcome. Both Russell and Mudlay project to be potential starters in the league, and the Lakers are in desperate need of someone to run the offense.
NBA Odds to Win Number 1 Pick: +575
Orlando Magic (8.8%)
The Magic are by far the best team on this list so far, so if they can either get higher, or stay inside the top five, they are going to go into next season with a much-improved roster and certainly better NBA betting odds. However they seem to already have their starting backcourt of the future, and they already have an outstanding big man in Nikola Vucevic. One thing they could use is a power forward who can stretch the floor. Channing Frye has been a big bust of a signing, but he could teach a young Kristaps Porzingis to play in the NBA. The Magic could also go after a SF here and look to trade Tobias Harris. Justice Winslow from Duke could be the perfect fit if they go that route.
NBA Odds to Win Number 1 Pick: +850