The 2009 NBA Draft Lottery, a Party Detroit Wishes it Could Join

Tonight's NBA Draft Lottery is the party fourteen teams have been waiting for. Their playoffs, if you will. Pistons fans probably can't help but wish we were a part of this party. After all, drafting No. 15--just outside the lottery--and getting stomped by the Cavs in the first round of the playoffs is no shindig. Is there any way we can slip a lotto ball into the mix and crash the party?

Interestingly enough, former Pistons coaches and players; including Flip Saunders (Wizards), Chris Webber (Kings), Allan Houston (Knicks), Alvin Gentry (Suns), and John Hammond (Bucks), will be on-stage representatives tonight.

Anyway, here is the official break down of what is going to transpire tonight, taken from NBA.com:

"Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a drum. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Prior to the Lottery, 1,000 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating Lottery teams by a computer.

The Sacramento Kings finished the season with the NBA's worst record (17-65), so they will be assigned 250 combinations. The Phoenix Suns, the best team in the lottery at 46-36, will have five combinations out of 1,000.

Four balls will be drawn to the top to determine a four-digit combination. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the number one pick. The four balls are placed back in the drum and the process is repeated to determine the number two and three picks. (Note: If the one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls are drawn to the top again.)

The order of selection for the teams that do not win one of the top three picks will be determined by inverse order of their regular season record. Thus, Sacramento can pick no lower than fourth, Washington (19-63) no lower than fifth and the L.A. Clippers (19-63) no lower than sixth.

The actual Lottery procedure will take place in a separate room prior to the national broadcast with NBA officials and representatives of the participating teams and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young in attendance.

Following the drawing, team logo cards will be inserted into envelopes marked 1 through 14 by an Ernst & Young representative. These envelopes then will be sealed and brought on-stage, where the announcement of the Lottery results will be made by NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. A second representative from each participating team will be seated on-stage. Neither the Deputy Commissioner nor the team representatives will be informed of the Lottery results prior to the opening of the envelopes.

The team whose logo is in the last envelope opened will pick first in NBA Draft 2009, to be held on Thursday, June 25, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City."

Also, if you're interested in discussing the lottery, feel free to check out an open thread of one of the fourteen teams represented tonight:

Sacramento Kings - Sactown Royalty
Washington Wizards - Bullets Forever
LA Clippers - Clips Nation
Oklahoma City Thunder - Welcome to Loud City
Minnesota Timberwolves - Canis Hoopus
Golden State Warriors
- Golden State of Mind
New York Knicks
- Posting and Toasting
Milwaukee Bucks
- Brew Hoop
Charlotte Bobcats
-Rufus on Fire
Indiana Pacers
-Indy Corn Rows
Phoenix Suns - Bright Side of the Sun
(Raptors, Nets, and Grizzlies are not represented on SB Nation at the moment)

If you're interested in the probabilities of each team getting one of the first three draft picks, I have inserted a chart that breaks it down below:

Lotteryprob2_medium

via cdn3.sbnation.com

If you're a Pistons fan then you probably don't have much interest in the lottery tonight. However, if you do feel like discussing the draft, consider this your open thread today.

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