The NBA Draft Lottery is a chance for a struggling franchise to change their fortunes with a player who can change their franchise
In 2003 the Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery and selected LeBron James. The Orlando Magic landed Dwight Howard in 2004. The Chicago Bulls trumped a 1.7% chance of landing the first pick and got Derrick Rose in 2008.
Unfortunately, the Charlotte Bobcats have never had that luck.
In eight appearances in the draft lottery, the Bobcats are winless.
After going 7-59 last year and having the most favorable odds to win the #1 pick and draft Kentucky forward Anthony Davis, the Bobcats finished 2nd to the New Orleans Pelicans.
This year the Bobcats have the second highest chance of getting the first pick. However, winning this year’s draft lottery might yield more consequence than celebration.
An anonymous general manager of a team in the draft lottery told Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports of his skepticism about the lack of a franchise piece in this year’s class.
“I’m not sure I want the No. 1 pick,” said the NBA general manager. “There’s really no one worthy of the top pick. But someone has to go number one.”
2006 was the last time a draft lacked a consensus choice, when Italian forward Andrea Bargnani went first to the Toronto Raptors. Bargnani was touted as a Dirk Nowitzki-type forward who could stretch the floor with his three-point and score like a guard as a seven-footer.
For his career Bargnani averages 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, shoots 43.7% from the field and 36.1% from three.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Rajon Rondo are notable names who went after Toronto’s selection. Each of them have made at least two all-star games. Bargnani has made none.
This season the Raptors acquired Rudy Gay, who also went in the same draft as Bargnani. With Gay’s arrival the Raptors have contemplated a future without him their former first overall selection.
The lack of a franchise prospect creates a larger margin of error for the team selecting first overall.
Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Michigan point guard Trey Burke have the best chances of going first in the 2013 NBA Draft. All could have long NBA careers and even make an all-star game or two. But nether of the trio presents the sure-fire certainty that comes with a franchise draft pick.
With the Bobcats luck it would be fitting if they won the draft lottery this year, rather than 2014 when Canadian sensation Andrew Wiggins is expected to be the grand prize. That’s without mentioning names like Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle, in a draft that could be one of the best since 2003.
Despite the quality of this draft, it’s important for the Bobcats to strike gold in this draft to advance their rebuilding efforts.
The draft lottery is two days away. For the first time in a while, there’s a feeling that general managers won’t be upset if their team doesn’t land the first pick overall.