2016 NBA Draft Lottery Recap

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, left, poses for a photo with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown. Credit - AP

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, left, poses for a photo with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown. Credit – AP

By Jake Katz,

Tuesday night was an important night for playoff basketball, but for the non-playoff teams it was all about the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery. The night of the draft lottery has always been an exciting night for teams and fans vying for a top pick in the Draft.

Normally there is always going to be a team who moves up, but that was not the case tonight.  For the first time in what seems a long time, the draft order stayed exactly the same and no team moved up.  Although no teams moved up there were still obvious winners and losers.  When it was all said and done here is the order for the lottery portion in the 2016 NBA Draft.

1. Philadelphia 76ers
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn)
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Denver Nuggets (via New York)
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Toronto Raptors (from Denver)
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Orlando Magic
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns (from Washington)
14. Chicago Bulls

Winners
Lakers: Coming into the draft lottery the Lakers were by far the team with both the most to gain and the most to lose.  They had the second best percentage chance to receive the first overall pick, but if they fell outside the top three Philadelphia would receive their pick.  Luckily for the Lakers they did not fall outside of the top three and finished with the second pick, therefore keeping it.  The Lakers reward is the chance to draft a future potential franchise building block with either Ben Simmons of LSU or Brandon Ingram of Duke.  Both players are incredible talents and have high upside potential.  Coming off their worst regular season ever and the retirement of legend Kobe Bryant, the Lakers needed some good news and got it big time.  They will look to pair either Simmons or Ingram with their young cast of players in D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson.

Celtics: The Celtics have eight picks this draft.  Yes, you read that correctly, eight picks.  They have five in the top 35. The Celtics are a growing team coming off an impressive 48-34 campaign that concluded with a first round defeat to the Hawks.  They were going to be winners no matter what but obtaining a top three pick makes this an easy choice. The Celtics will have a bevy of options at number three and also have the 16th and 23rd pick in the first round.  Whether Danny Ainge will actually use each draft pick, or use them in a trade to acquire a star player (Demarcus Cousins cough, cough) is his choice.  Either way the Celtics have set themselves up tremendously to continue to add young talented pieces to an already young roster with a budding star at Head Coach. The future is very bright in Beantown.

Suns: This year was a very difficult year for the Suns.  Although the Suns missed out on the playoffs the past few years they were close and looked to be a team on the rise.  But they flopped this season to the tune of a 23-59 record.  So why are they winners tonight?  They are winners because not only did they receive the 4th pick, they also gained the 13th pick from the Markieff Morris Trade.  Phoenix is a team with plenty of young talent and two lottery picks are going to be very helpful toward their future.  With youngsters like Devin Booker, Alex Len and Brandon Knight already in the fold, these two picks will help Phoenix in their rebuilding effort.

Losers
Wizards: The Wizards had a very disappointing season after back-to-back playoff appearances.  Simply put this team is way too talented to miss the playoffs.  With stars like Jon Wall and Bradley Beal along with role players such as Marcin Gortat, Otto Porter, and Nene, this team is better than they showed this past season.  Their pick was top nine protected, but after not moving up, the pick heads to Phoenix.  Coming off of a down season the Wizards really could have used this draft pick to draft a young player they could develop and turn into an integral piece of the roster.  Only time will tell if Markieff Morris makes this trade worthwhile or not.

Knicks and Nets: Neither of these teams became losers tonight, they already were but tonight only made it more obvious.  Both teams traded their first round pick in deals that did not work out for either team.  The Nets basically mortgaged their future in a trade with the Boston Celtics that cost them multiple first round picks.  The Knicks traded away this year’s pick two summers ago for former first overall pick (and presumptive bust) Andrea Bargnani. The Nets have placed their faith in an owner who wants to win so badly but doesn’t know how to.  The Knicks on the other hand have been hoodwinked into believing that Phil Jackson can turn the team around, when all he is actually doing is damaging their future.  Tonight only reminded us of the sad state of New York Basketball.  Do yourself a favor and just ignore basketball in New York, it isn’t getting better anytime soon.

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