It’s the NBA Draft lottery, but the Pacers won’t be participating because tanking isn’t their style and it also wasn’t particularly feasible. At the point in which Victor Oladipo sustained his season-ending injury, Indiana was 17 games above .500 with only 35 games left to play and the bottom two seeds in the East had losing records. They were making the playoffs, it was just a matter of who they would be playing once they got there. Turns out, they got swept by the Celtics in the first-round with their young players (i.e. Aaron Holiday, T.J. Leaf, etc.) seeing only limited minutes in the name of cultivating a winning culture (i.e. standing pat at the trade deadline, signing Wesley Matthews, etc.).
Nevertheless, with the potential that looms for rival Eastern Conference squads to load up during the offseason (we’re looking at you Knicks and Celtics), tonight’s pageantry still has plenty of implications for the Pacers.
Where to watch?
The lottery is taking place in Chicago and will be shown on ESPN at 8:30 PM ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors (aka the Curry Bowl).
What are the odds of each team landing the No. 1 pick?
- New York, 14 percent
- Cleveland, 14 percent
- Phoenix, 14 percent
- Chicago, 12.5 percent
- Atlanta, 10.5 percent
- Washington, 9 percent
- New Orleans, 6 percent
- Memphis, 6 percent (top-eight protected, otherwise goes to Boston)
- Dallas, 6 percent (goes to Atlanta if it doesn’t jump into the top four)
- Minnesota, 3 percent
- Los Angeles Lakers, 2 percent
- Charlotte, 1 percent
- Miami, 1 percent
- Sacramento, 1 percent (goes to Boston, unless it climbs to No. 1 — at which point, it would convey to Philly)
What are the lottery teams saying?
Fresh off of basking in the schadenfreude of extending Jim Boylen, Blog a Bull (believe it or not) is actually hoping that the Bulls pull a Bulls (just this once) and do as they did in 2008 when they defied the odds to land the No. 1 pick.
After a brief, one-year hiatus, Canis Hoopus wrote an ode about being back in the familiar position of relying on lottery balls.
Posting and Toasting’s Matthew Miranda played karma police to determine which lottery team deserves to draft Zion Williamson. Counterpoint: Tom Ziller argues that none of the bad teams **deserve** to draft Zion Williamson.
Entering with the sixth-best odds, Bullets Forever has their signature Winnie the Pooh gif standing by at the read just in case the lottery gods smile upon them.
Joe Mullinax of Grizzlies Bear Blues took some questions in preparation for what could be a big night for Memphis. From Mike Conley’s future to the team’s next head coach to whether or not they convey their pick before it becomes top-six protected in 2020, Mullinax also argues that no team has at much at stake tonight as the Grizzlies.
Meanwhile, with multiple lottery teams expected to show interest in Anthony Davis this summer, The Bird Writes is keeping an eye on the Lakers (a top three pick would improve their offer for Davis), Knicks (a top three pick could be used to acquire Davis, if they land Kevin Durant or another top-tier free agent), and Grizzlies (Boston might have another asset by the end of the night). Plus, they’re also dreaming of a scenario where they acquire Domantas Sabonis
in-exchange for Jrue Holiday ... as part of a three-team that would re-route Gordon Hayward to Indiana. Because, in case you didn’t know, Gordon Hayward is from Indiana.
Peachtree Hoops is busting at the seams with scouting reports, and why not? In addition to their own pick, the Hawks will be watching the Mavericks like a...ahem.. hawk (pun!) to see if the pick they acquired last year in-exchange for sliding back two slots and allowing Dallas to draft Luka Doncic will convey (FYI, it will so long as it doesn’t jump into the top four).
Related: Mavs Moneyball is not busting at the seams with scouting reports.
After hiring old friend Frank Vogel, Silver Screen and Roll has a FAQ covering everything that’s in play for the Lakers.
Bright Side of the Sun is expecting Phoenix to take plenty of incoming phone calls if they land anywhere from picks 3-7.
Nick Gilbert is representing Cleveland at the Draft Lottery. Will the Cavs get lucky, again?
As usual, feel free to share your thoughts from the evening’s festivities, as well as anything Pacers-related, in the comments section.