The NBA Draft Lottery is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in which the teams who missed the playoffs in the previous season, or teams who hold the draft rights of another team that missed the playoffs in the previous season, participate in a lottery process to determine the draft order in the NBA draft.
In 2012, the NBA Draft Lottery worked to perfection. The NBA has been criticized in the past because many of its teams allegedly give less than their best down the stretch to improve their chances of winning the draft lottery. This is the very reason why the NBA instituted the draft lottery. Having the worst record is no longer a guarantor of obtaining the top pick in the NBA Draft...But seriously, the reason for my belief that the right team won the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery has nothing to do with my allegiance to the Hornets. As a fan who either attended or watched every Hornets' game down the stretch, I know for a fact that New Orleans played hard in every game and never worried about ping pong balls in the draft lottery.
With a 25 percent chance of winning one of the top three picks in next month's NBA draft, the Nets instead had to settle for the sixth pick in the league's annual draft lottery, held at the Disney/ABC Times Square Studio in Manhattan.
Furthermore, since they did not finish in the top three, the Nets must ship that pick to the Portland Trail Blazers, to complete the trade for forward Gerald Wallace that the teams made two months ago.
The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That's the worst part for the NBA; these aren't the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern
The 2012 NBA Draft Lottery consists of 14 teams hoping for the right to select a teenage member of the national champion Kentucky Wildcats. One-and-done phenom Anthony Davis is the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and will certainly be on the minds of fans for all the franchises with a chance at him. Davis' teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is also among the projected top picks along with former Kansas standout Thomas Robinson and UConn center Andre Drummond.
Here's the entire first round:
1. New Orleans Hornets
2. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Washington Wizards
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn Nets)
7. Golden State Warriors
8. Toronto Raptors
9. Detroit Pistons
10. Hornets (from Minnesota Timberwolves, via Los Angeles Clippers)
11. Portland Trail Blazers
12. Milwaukee Bucks
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
15. Philadelphia 76ers
16. Rockets (from New York Knicks)
17. Dallas Mavericks
18. Timberwolves (from Utah Jazz)
19. Orlando Magic
20. Denver Nuggets
21. Boston Celtics
22. Celtics (from Clippers via Oklahoma City Thunder)
23. Atlanta Hawks
24. Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Lakers)
25. Memphis Grizzlies
26. Indiana Pacers
27. Miami Heat
29. Chicago Bulls
30. Warriors (from San Antonio Spurs)
The Cavaliers, who ended the season with the same 21-45 record as New Orleans, won a coin flip tiebreaker with New Orleans on April 27. The Cavaliers ended up with 138 ping pong balls compared to the 137 the Hornets got, but winning the coin flip ended up being a negative as it cost them the ball that landed the No. 1 overall pick.
The coincidence for Davis couldn't have been predicted. On the day he received his national championship ring from the NCAA for earning a title in New Orleans for Kentucky in March, he found out the Hornets had won the right to select him on June 28.
"I won a national championship in New Orleans, so why not win another one in New Orleans?" said Davis, who was the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four and the consensus National Player of the Year award winner in his only season at Kentucky.
The bouncing balls went the Hornets way at the lottery Wednesday night, as they landed the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft. The best player available is widely considered to be Kentucky standout Anthony Davis. The Hornets moved up from the fourth spot, where they had a 13.7 percent chance to win the first pick...Meanwhile the Bobcats, who had the worst winning percentage in NBA history last season and a 25 percent chance to land the first pick, fell to the number two spot. The Wizards and Cavs will select third and fourth respectively.
The Bobcats’ roster really needed Davis. The front office really needed a selling point during the annual season-ticket drive.
“I spoke to Rich (Cho, the general manager) after the event up in New York, and he said he could just feel the air kind of go out, internally within himself,” Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said. “I’m sure it was that way with anyone who’s a Bobcats person, a Bobcats fan. But we’re looking forward to this opportunity now.”
The Hornets, recently sold by the NBA to Saints owner Tom Benson, won the NBA's draft lottery Wednesday and the No. 1 pick overall -- which they almost certainly will use to pick Kentucky star Anthony Davis.
At least that's what the college player of the year is expecting. Moments after the Hornets won the lottery, Davis said he was looking forward to playing professionally in the place where he led the Wildcats to a national championship in April.