To win an NBA championship a superstar is needed. It's fact. So perhaps there will be hope in future seasons for whichever team wins Tonight's draft lottery. Let's check the NBA odds of the 14 clubs.
How Important Is No. 1 Pick?
We will first take a look at the No. 1 overall picks since 2008 and you will notice that for the most part a top pick gets you into the playoffs. That '08 year the Bulls had just a 1.7 percent chance of moving from No. 9 to No. 1 but they did and took Memphis point guard Derrick Rose. Of course the Bulls were a playoff team this year, losing to the Cavs in the East Finals.
2009: The Clippers had the second-worst record in the NBA and a 17.7 percent chance of moving up one spot. They did and took Oklahoma's Blake Griffin. The Clips were a playoff team this season, blowing a 3-1 series lead in the West semis to Houston.
2010: Washington had the fifth-worst record and a 10.3 percent chance of the top pick. The Wizards got it and took Kentucky point guard John Wall. They were playoff team this season, losing to Atlanta in the East semis.
2011: The Cavaliers had the eighth-worst record and a 2.8 percent chance of No. 1. They took Duke point guard Kyrie Irving in that spot and the Cavs are still playing in the postseason.
2012: New Orleans was tied for the league's third-worst record and 13.7 percent chance of the top spot. There the franchise took the NBA's next great superstar, Kentucky big man Anthony Davis. The Pelicans were a playoff team this year.
2013: Cleveland had the third-worst record and a 15.6 percent chance of moving up. The Cavs did and took Canadian forward Anthony Bennett, a former from UNLV. He has been a bust.
2014: The Cavaliers had the ninth-worst record and just a 1.7 percent chance of getting the top pick. They lucked out again and took Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins. He was this season's NBA Rookie of the Year with Minnesota, sent there with Bennett in the Kevin Love deal.
None of those No. 1 picks has won a title yet, although Irving might in a month or so. The last No. 1 to win it all was LeBron James, the 2003 pick of Cleveland. But it's not vital for the 14 clubs Tuesday to get the top pick as stars can be found elsewhere. The Warriors' Steph Curry was the No. 7 pick in 2009. Houston's James Harden was No. 3 that same season (by Oklahoma City). Pity poor Memphis, which could have had either one but took Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2 overall. Atlanta's best player is probably Al Horford and he was the No. 3 overall pick in 2007.
Lottery Rarely Won By Worst Team
The Knicks had the worst record in the NBA for most of this past regular season but then stupidly won three of their final six games to finish at 17-65. That allowed Minnesota (16-66), which lost its final 12 games, to pass New York for the most ping-pong balls in Tuesday's lottery, which will be shown on ESPN before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Wolves have a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery. The last time a team with the best chance of winning the lottery did so? Orlando in 2004 with the prize being an Atlanta high school player named Dwight Howard. Predictably, the Wolves are +250 favorites on BetOnline NBA odds to win it. They are -162 to get a better pick than the Knicks (+152). 5Dimes has several odds combinations like those, too many to list.
No club in the 14-team lottery can drop more than three spots from its current draft spot, so the Wolves will pick no lower than fourth. The Knicks, who have a 19.9 percent chance of winning the lottery, can't drop past No. 5, the 76ers (18-64) can't past No. 6, and so on. New York is +350 to win the lottery and Philly +500.
Keep a close eye on the Lakers (21-61), who have an 11.9 percent shot of moving to No. 1. If two teams jump the Lakers and they fall out of the Top 5, that pick goes to Philadelphia. It's the final payment for the Steve Nash trade in 2012. The Suns held that pick but dealt it at this season's deadline to the Sixers as part of the deal that involved the Sixers' Michael Carter-Williams (now in Milwaukee) and Bucks' Brandon Knight (now in Phoenix). Losing that pick would be devastating to L.A.'s rebuilding. There's a slightly better than a 17 percent chance it happens but then obviously 83 percent it doesn't. Los Angeles is +550 to win the lottery.
The longest shot of winning the lottery is Oklahoma City at just 0.50 percent. Might winning it impact any possible trade of Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook? The Thunder are +10000 along with Utah (0.70 percent) and Phoenix (0.60 percent).
NBA Free Pick: Philadelphia (15.6 percent) is my NBA pick to win it, to the dismay of all those who despise tanking. The 76ers had the best chance last year but dropped to No. 3 and took Joel Embiid.