As the saying goes, either you sell the gains, or you sell the hope.
For the 10 teams that didn’t make the top four in the NBA lottery Tuesday night, that sale came with a strict no-refund policy. And for magic, thunder, rockets, and kings, perhaps all those losses were worth it.
Here’s how the lottery is formed:
|pick or pick||a team|
|8.||Pelicans (via the Lakers)|
|12.||Thunder (via clippers)|
Who were the biggest winners and losers of the night? Kings, Thunder, and Magic all advance in the draft. Trail Blazers and Pacers moved down one place. The pistons were the biggest losers.
For more depth, keep reading.
MORE: 2022 NBA Draft Probability Rankings
2022 NBA Lottery Winners
This draft is not supposed to have the super talent at the top of some of its predecessors. But the No. 1 pick in the draft is still pretty good in any season.
Now comes the difficult choice. Will it be Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith Jr.? Kyle Irving, an expert on the TSN project, has Panchero on his board, and I agree with his assessment.
I’m not as familiar with the draft as Irving, but I saw Panchero up close in Final Four. His fluidity at 6-10 was personally amazing.
I also love his intangibles. I saw him meet up with his mates in the biggest moments to make sure they were on the same page. At press conferences, he was generously praised by his teammates. His answers were thoughtful and honest.
He would need to be a good soldier, because magic would have a large number of big men on their roster if they went with him.
The Cavs looked like a foolproof lock on sending their first-round pick this season as part of their Caris LeVert takeover deal. But their disastrous slip-up towards the end of the season and their loss in the Play-In Tournament had one silver lining: This selection was a protected one of the top 14 teams, and now they’re going to hold it.
MORE: The complete history of the NBA Draft Lottery winners
Oklahoma City Thunder
Draft Lottery is General Manager Sam Presti’s Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, and NBA Finals all rolled into one. Forget trying to win basketball games – that’s the competition that Thunder lives for.
Thunder was scheduled to choose the fourth, twelfth, thirty-fourth, and thirty-fourth on Tuesday night. The tank paid off, as they climbed two points to second place.
The second place selection may also be a blessing in disguise in this draft. With no #1 consensus, they’re shielded from the criticism that comes with screwing up the best draft pick. And they still have a fantastic chance of picking the best player out of the class.
The Thunder still has a lot of choices in future drafts and there aren’t enough places on the list to keep all the players they pick. Look for them to do some kind of consolidation trade.
It must have been nerve-wracking a few minutes after Lottery of Kings representative Sabonis learned his team had advanced on the draft. The three players who top the most mock drafts are all big guys at Smith Jr. and Holmgren and Banchero.
If the Kings had moved into the top three, they might have been destined to replace the Sabonis. This might happen if one of the big guys fell, but the kings ended up with the fourth pick. This gives them a better chance of goalkeeper Jaden Ivey, who would be a good fit alongside Sabonis.
2022 NBA Draft Lottery Losers
The pistons were the biggest loser of the night. They completed a miserable season that saw just 23 wins and the third-worst record in the league. They are paired with Rockets and Magic for the best odds in the top selection.
Instead of sitting at the top of the draft board, they would choose the fifth in a draft by consensus of the first four at their own level.
Irving loves cheddon mustache. Athletic player Sam Vicini has Keegan Murray. Johnny Davis, Galen Doreen, or any Jay Griffin might end up in that slot, too.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the number 5.
MORE: Why are there only 58 picks in the 2022 NBA Draft?
Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers bonus for a disappointing 33-49 season, eighth worst record in the league? How about zero picks?
The Lakers traded their first-round pick with the Pelicans in an Anthony Davis deal, so the Pelicans were the big winners on Tuesday. They would have lost this Lakers pick in their own trade with the Grizzlies if he had fallen outside the top ten.
Instead, they have a shot at a great player in eighth place.