ESPN threw up their NBA Lottery simulator today. I suppose this is a concession to the fact that the lottery is one of the only interesting things in basketball, especially when there is a super prospect like John Wall to speculate about. Even someone like me, that doesn’t like the NBA can get caught up in the lottery machine. I gave it a few clicks. What can I say? I’d like to win a lottery. Even a fake one on ESPN’s website.
A couple things strike me when playing the old lottery game. The first is that the Nets only have a 1/4 chance of getting the top pick. I know this is common knowledge, and the worst team often misses out on the top pick, but looking at the Nets glittering 3-30 record that 25% just doesn’t seem adequate. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Nets are the worst team in the league. They might put up the worst record of all-time. Shouldn’t there be a prize for that?
I understand the lottery system, I just don’t think it works. You don’t want teams tanking games at the end of the season. My response would be they’re going to tank them anyway. The Nets have no guarantee of getting the first pick, but they still have the best chance. What’s the difference? In fact, you take a team that maybe has the sixth or seventh worst record. In the lottery system aren’t they likely to lose as many as possible down the stretch? If there was no lottery they have no chance of getting John Wall. But, with a lottery every loss helps a little. I guess it’s an imperfect system. I’d just hate to see the Clippers get lucky. No need to ruin the kid’s career.
So, how many times did I have to click the lottery machine until the Sixers won? Just three times. As it stands right now, the Sixers have an 8.8% chance of winning. Not too bad. The problem with the NBA draft is that talent drops off exponentially pick after pick. Who did the Sixers take in the mock draft where they didn’t win the lottery? Cole Aldrich. Yep, that seems about right. The seventh pick in the NBA draft has to be one of the most frustrating picks in all of sport. Not that there haven’t been good picks in this range, but there are also names like Chris Mihm.
That’s what you’d expect the Sixers to end up with in this spot. There’s a 6-10 white center available? Yes, please. Great to meet you Mr. Aldrich. Let me introduce you to the rest of our borderline line-up. Borderline all-stars, borderline starters, borderline stiffs. We have them all, you’ll fit right in. So, go play the lottery game, but make sure you don’t stop on a spin where Cole Aldrich ends up on your squad.