When I was watching the NBA Draft Lottery the other night, I sat there thinking, “Why is the NBA still utilizing this system for determining the draft order?” Neither Major League Baseball nor the National Football League uses a lottery. In my opinion, the whole idea doesn’t make sense. Once again this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers came away with the top pick, making it the third time in four years they have been awarded the honor. Call it a conspiracy or the NBA helping out the Cavaliers following the LeBron departure, it still isn’t the best route for the NBA. Although essentially in this year’s class, the top three picks are all valuable thanks to Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker all being potential All Stars, a team finishing 33-49 shouldn’t be rewarded with the top pick when there are plenty of other teams far worse. With a 1.7 percent chance of this happening, somehow the Cavaliers were awarded again. Last year, they took Anthony Bennett in what was a surprising pick. This year it seems their choice will be between Embiid, Wiggins, and Parker, but who knows, they might reach for a guy like Julius Randle.
The Milwaukee Bucks (15-67) and Philadelphia 76ers (19-63) were both terrible last year and will be drafting from the 2 and 3 spots, respectively. Not necessarily a huge loss, but I’m sure they would rather have the flexibility that comes with the top pick. In the midst of this whole process, the person who got all of the attention was Mallory Edens, the 18-year-old daughter of Milwaukee Bucks co-owner, Wesley Edens. Shortly following the draft, she was trending on Twitter and her followers on the social media site rose from 200 to over 10,000 in under an hour. In the meantime, there were plenty of winners (aside from Mallory Edens) and losers on this night.
Although there will be conspiracies rising about the Cavaliers getting the top pick, there may have well been some conspiracies if either of the two most prolific teams (Celtics and Lakers) all-time in the NBA were awarded the top selection. The Celtics ended up getting the 6th pick and the Lakers coming in at 7th; they will still both be in line for good picks, but not jumping into the top three is possibly considered a loss for these two high-profile teams. How about the Detroit Pistons? Fresh off the pickup of new coach, Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons could have possibly gotten lucky moving into the top three. This could have been huge for a team like the Pistons, who already have a wealth of talent in Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond. However, when Cleveland moved up, the Pistons lost their pick when they were moved to ninth, which then meant the Charlotte Hornets got the pick via trade. In the end, the Pistons are left without a first round selection.
In a night like this, the big headline arising is whether or not LeBron might be returning home to Cleveland. Yes, he has enjoyed his time in South Beach, but Cleveland is his hometown and would gladly welcome him back. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened and it would be fun to watch a trio of Kyrie Irving, LeBron, and Joel Embiid, amongst a bevy of young, talented players like Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and last-year’s top selection, Anthony Bennett.