The lottery took place last week and now we have our official drafting order. Obviously, the team that wins the lottery will be the happiest out of everyone. That being said they weren\’t the only ones who left the lottery with a smile on their face. As with everything if there are some people who are happy with the results there will also be people who aren\’t happy. So let\’s jump into the winners and losers of the lottery.
Winner #1 Detroit Pistons
This one was obvious the moment it was revealed that Detroit won the lottery. Being able to draft Cade Cunningham is a franchise-changing event for the Pistons. The future is suddenly bright for their fans and having Cade on the team fast tracks their rebuilding project. More than anything it gives this franchise a jolt that it has been desperately needed. As long as there are no draft day surprises the Pistons should have the face of their franchise for years to come.
Loser #1 Chicago Bulls
The moment the 8th was revealed to be going to Orlando the Bulls were always going to be losers. This pick was originally the property of the Bulls, but thanks to a midseason trade now end up heading to Orlando. A few months ago the team traded this pick which was top 4 protected for Vucevic in hopes of making a playoff push. Unfortunately for the Bulls their playoff push never really got going and failed. The hope would be that their pick could somehow leapfrog into the top 4 so they could keep the pick. As you can see that didn\’t happen and now they are left without a playoff appearance and a first-round pick.
Winner #2 Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have to be absolutely delighted that they jumped into the top 4 after having less than a 10% chance of doing so. The leap allows them to rebuild on the fly and potentially create another contender sooner than expected. Now whether or not they will be willing to go that route depends on the resignation of Lowry. But at the very least getting the 4th pick gives them some options. They could trade the pick for immediate help or use the pick on someone worth building a franchise around. Either way, it appears the north is gearing up once again.
Loser #2 Minnesota Timberwolves
Now to be fair to Minnesota they weren\’t expecting to keep their first-round pick. That, however, doesn\’t change the fact that not having a pick this year is a blow to this franchise. This franchise hasn\’t been able to figure out how to build a winner and that task only gets harder without draft picks. Another reason not being able to keep their pick hurts is because the clock is ticking on Towns. How much longer will he be willing to stay when the franchise can\’t seem to build a winning team around him. The front office will surely be feeling the pressure, but with no picks and limited cap space, things don\’t seem likely to change anytime soon.
Winner #3 Golden State Warriors
Wondering who the Timberwolves lost their first-round pick to? Look no further than the Golden State Warriors who will have two of the top 15 picks in this year\’s draft. Being able to grab Minnesota\’s pick will allow them extra flexibility in their roster construction this offseason. With Curry and Thompson nearing the end of the prime will this franchise look to the next batch of stars? Or will they package those picks to land an already established player to make another title run? The Warriors probably wish the Minnesota pick was a little higher, but they will walk away from lottery night with a smile.
Loser #3 Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder started the day with the possibility of having two picks in the top five of the draft. But what ended up happening is they were left out of the top 5 entirely. To make matters worse thanks to Houston\’s pick landing in the top four that pick stays with Houston. I know OKC still has 30+ picks over the next four years, but snagging that Houston pick and having their own pick in the top 4 could\’ve jumpstarted their rebuild. As it stands they have the 6th pick in what most people call a 5 player draft. There\’s still value in their pick and OKC obviously isn\’t in any rush to put out a contender. But it does sting a little that the lottery could\’ve been a lot kinder to them.