The Biggest 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers


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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    CHICAGO — The NBA Draft Lottery remains one of the silliest but most entertaining aspects of the league, where the fate of billion-dollar organizations and world basketball’s elite prodigies are decided by pure random. But the Orlando Magic, who won the first pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, along with the Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 2), Houston Rockets (No. 3) and Sacramento Kings (No. 4) are not s don’t complain.

    The fickle nature of the lottery always leaves others on the opposite end of the luck spectrum. This year’s drawing also featured a clear delineation between teams in big and small league markets.

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    Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t represented in Tuesday night’s lottery, but they were a constant talking point on the field in Chicago during the draft.

    The conversation between league staff about the trade status of Russell Westbrook continues, and the fact that New Orleans inherited the No. 8 pick that would have gone to the Lakers – a pick that could have added significant value for the upgrading their roster this summer – seemed like another reminder of the difficulty of a task facing the LA front office this summer.

    The New York Knicks were the biggest market represented in the lottery, emerging with the 11th pick after entering the night with the 11th-best chance at the No. 1 selection. They had just a 9.4% chance of winning. rank in the top four, but they haven’t progressed in the draw since David Stern pulled out the envelope that gifted Patrick Ewing to New York in 1985.

    The Knicks went 12-11 after the All-Star break, which ended up hurting their lottery chances. Still, the Knicks staff were encouraged by the progress made late in the season by Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin. And several young players, including trade deadline acquisition Cam Reddish, have been active in offseason workouts at team facilities.

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Orlando Magic communications director Joel Glass has brought ping pong balls into the living room since the years Orlando was blessed with being among the top picks that allowed Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard, and the lucky charms worked. For the fourth time in franchise history, the Magic won the top pick in the lottery.

    For most NBA personnel, Auburn forward Jabari Smith is the most coveted prospect in this draft class. Smith could pair well in the frontcourt with Orlando’s swath of backcourt players, including 2021 No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs and No. 8 pick Franz Wagner.

    Magic will now also have a significant advantage in gathering information. Every prospect at the top of this class wants to hear their name called first. For example, family members of Paolo Banchero were discussing the idea of ​​joining Orlando when leaving the lottery hall on Tuesday.

    The Magic should have the opportunity to meet and assess who they want. Their obvious franchise centerpiece void provides a direct track to whoever they pick at No. 1 to become the team’s true alpha, with a development plan and roster building centered around that player.

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    Nick Wagner/Associated Press

    The Trail Blazers weren’t the only team to fall in the draft order from their original pre-lottery standings — Detroit and Indiana also slipped — but they had a lot more at stake.

    Portland remains committed to quickly retooling a contender around All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. A makeshift ping-pong ball could have made a huge contribution to the Blazers’ hopes of pairing Lillard with a bona fide running mate. The No. 1 pick, or even a top-four selection in a deep class, would have presented various trade options to the Portland front office to optimize the roster.

    There is skepticism in the league that the Blazers will move their lottery selection to a veteran contributor such as Jerami Grant. It appears Portland had hoped to use the Pelicans’ first-round pick to strike a deal with Detroit, but that pick ultimately didn’t go through.

    There are other ways to find Lillard a star counterpart. News of Portland’s potential pursuit of Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine via sign-and-trade and Charlotte Hornets restricted free agent swingman Miles Bridges has been a talking point among reaper staff. -thresher.

    Can Portland find a business partner interested in an available youngster at No. 7? The Golden State Warriors just learned last year how little the seventh pick could have commercial value. Either way, the Blazers can’t be thrilled with how their 2022 capital project looks today compared to the initial fallout from the February trade deadline.

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    As Orlando, Houston and Detroit joined Oklahoma City in the league’s latest evolution of the run to the bottom, there has been no franchise as brazen as the Thunder in their attempt to fumble games and hack the draft. OKC moved from fourth-best odds to No. 2 on Tuesday, giving general manager Sam Presti a clear chance to incorporate dynamic talent to partner Shai Gilegous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, in addition to the myriad of young Thunder prospects.

    The league’s new lottery system, which flattened the odds to give the three worst teams an equal 14% chance at the No. 1 pick, was a direct result of the tanking era highlighted by the Philadelphia 76ers. directed by Sam Hinkie. This followed OKC’s dramatic rebuild from 2007 to 2009, when Presti’s front office selected Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden in back-to-back drafts.

    While the Thunder were surely hoping to win the No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday, walking away with the No. 2 pick is a massive blow to Presti’s strategy that the revised NBA lottery setup is designed to discourage.

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    As the Dallas Mavericks race to the Western Conference Finals, Jalen Brunson’s free agent salary seems to be getting bigger with every win. Dallas staff insist they will be able to hold Brunson with a competitive offer when he reaches unrestricted free agency in July, but New York, Indiana and Detroit are also expected to make aggressive runs at Brunson.

    Brunson will surely sign a lucrative deal that most NBA executives expect will top $90 million over four years. But could the lottery results hamper Brunson’s market by taking a potential buyer off the table?

    The Pistons’ slide to No. 5 almost certainly removes the possibility of them landing Smith, Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren or Duke forward Paolo Banchero. That will likely leave Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe on the board as possible selections.

    The Pistons could very well select a backyard partner of the future for Cade Cunningham and continue to pursue Brunson in free agency. But for an organization that’s supposedly aiming for a tangible step toward the postseason next spring, falling into the draft order must sting to some degree.

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Since the league introduced this new lottery format, adding a fourth draw in addition to flattened odds, an unexpected team has broken into the top four every year. This season, after a headline-grabbing deal for Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline, Sacramento went from the seventh-best odds to the fourth pick, which will give the Kings a chance at one of the hopefuls. elite of this class.

    The Toronto Raptors made the exact same jump to last year’s lottery and selected eventual rookie of the year Scottie Barnes at No. 4. Sacramento is also in a strong position to swing a trade for a immediate help toward the franchise’s goal of making the playoffs—exactly what Portland wanted.

    It’s a huge stroke of luck for Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who hasn’t made the playoffs in each of his nine years at the helm of the franchise, and new head coach Mike Brown. It’s also a huge win for a Kings fanbase who were surely celebrating in Northern California on Tuesday night as the lottery telecast went into commercial break and the unlikely chance of a No. 1 pick looked good. alive.


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