The Western Conference Finals start tonight at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. With all eyes on the series opener between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, the NBA Draft will hope to shape the future of 14 NBA Franchises that will be involved in this year’s Lottery.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, and Philadelphia 76ers have the best chance to land with the First Overall pick. That is huge for these Franchises as the top 3 players in this draft are referred to as “Difference Makers”. One of these players can easily turn any struggling team into the right direction.
Here is a look at the Lottery and odds for each team obtaining the First Pick.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-66): 25%
2. New York Knicks (17-65): 19.9%
3. Philadelphia 76ers (18-64): 15.6%
4. Los Angeles Lakers (21-61): 11.9%
5. Orlando Magic (25-57): 8.8%
6. Sacramento Kings (29-53): 6.3%
7. Denver Nuggets (30-52): 4.3%
8. Detroit Pistons (32-50): 2.8%
9. Charlotte Hornets (33-49): 1.7%
10. Miami Heat (37-45): 1.1%
11. Indiana Pacers (38-44): .8%
12. Utah Jazz (38-44): .7%
13. Phoenix Suns (39-43): .6%
14. Oklahoma City Thunder: .5%
Two teams who will be monitoring the Lottery closely are the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat. As of trades made earlier in the season, if the Los Angeles Lakers pick falls out of the Top 5 it will be then sent to the 76ers.If the Miami Heat’s pick falls outside of the Top 10 it will also be sent to the Philadelphia. Needless to say the 76ers will have their fingers crossed as they might have a chance to pick up 3 First Rounders in this year’s draft.
The prized players are Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor. Both are Centers and are projected to be ready to contribute right away. In a league that is dominated by guard play, Big men are very rare especially ones that have the talent as these 2 young men. There are also a couple of point guards that are expected to go within the top 5. Ohio State’s D’angelo Russell and 6’5 Guard Emmanuel Mudiay who currently is playing professionally in China are also players that are high on teams boards.
Here are the Top 10 players ranked in this years draft by ESPN’s NBA Draft Insider Chad Ford.
C Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky)
C Jahlil Okafor (Duke)
PG D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)
PG Emmanuel Mudiay (China)
SF Justise Winslow (Duke)
SF Mario Hezonja (Croatia)
C Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky)
PF Myles Turner (Texas)
SF Stanley Johnson (Arizona)
While the NBA is gearing up for their version of the Final Four, 14 teams in this year’s NBA Lottery will be hoping they have a chance to grab one of the Top players in the draft. It starts tonight at 8:30 pm EDT on ESPN.