Thursday, March 31, 2011

NBA Powerless Rankings: Draft Lottery Edition

By Josh Galligan

With just over about two weeks remaining in the NBA season, you're likely finding yourself knee-deep in pointed, in-depth, and knowledgeable research in regards to the league's playoff race. Or rather, this is surely the case if you come to Sports Central for your NBA reading needs.

With this in mind, though, especially since I've always got our readers' best interests directly at heart, I've decided to put a spin on the regular reporting and instead utilize a special edition of my vaunted powerless rankings. You see, with not many games left to be played, these very same powerless rankings can essentially offer us a window into the NBA draft lottery sweepstakes, a window that you may have found yourself avoiding at all costs because you may have found it boring. 'Tis anything but boring, friend.

26) Sacramento Kings (21-52, 8.8% chance at receiving the No. 1 pick)

While the Kings would obviously do well with a higher pick, the fact that they need help in both the scoring and defensive areas likely means fans should be happy with what they get. At this point, it looks like the worst they could possibly do is a pick in the 5-7 range with the best possible scenario consisting of them dropping further down into 3-4 range. Cross your fingers, Kings fans!

27) Toronto Raptors (20-53, 11.9% chance at receiving the No. 1 pick)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Raptors are sorely in need of a young, franchise player who can turn public opinion back around in favor of the team. Ideally, this could very well be accomplished by the team dropping a bit further over the course of the next two weeks and nabbing the top 2011 draft spot. But as we all know, we do not live in a perfect world, no matter how fun it is to pretend sometimes.

28) Washington Wizards (18-55, 15.6% chance of receiving the No. 1 pick)

With so many talented young players already on board, the Wizards will likely go the best player on the board route. Then again, they could surprise everyone and deal their high pick for a veteran that can help meld the promising young talent in-ship. Hey, at least the future looks nice and bright for you Wizards fans still remaining. All twelve of you!

29) Minnesota Timberwolves (17-57, 19.9% chance of receiving the No. 1 pick)

Fortunately for Timberwolves fans, the team has some promising young studs in Kevin Love and Jonny Flynn. Even more fortunately, they're poised to have an extremely high draft pick to further their team building needs. Odds are they'll try and take a perimeter shooter or hybrid of the sort, but it also wouldn't be surprising if they decided to go with the best player on the board if they can manage to survive the lottery process and rake in a top two or three pick.

30) Cleveland Cavaliers (15-58, 25% chance of receiving the No. 1 pick)

It couldn't have gone much worse for the Cavs in the first year since LeBron James' departure. Fortunately for them, they're the odds-on favorite to win the coveted No. 1 pick in this years draft. While they most certainly won't get someone of James' caliber with the pick, it's at least the best possible outcome in the wake of such a depressing and frustrating season. Besides, James has clearly outed himself as a straight-up dick in the past year, so it's definitely for the better.

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