The Detroit Pistons have crushed just about all of our hopes and dreams this season, but the one almost silver lining is that the team seems just bad enough to have a decent shot at keeping its draft pick this season.
To recap, the Detroit Pistons owe the Charlotte Bobcats a first-round draft pick as part of the Ben Gordon trade. The pick is top-eight protected this season and top-one protected next season. That means if after the lottery is held, the Pistons have a pick from Nos. 1-8 then Detroit keeps the pick. If if falls at nine or lower, the pick goes to the Bobcats.
The Pistons have already secured at least the eighth-worst record in the NBA. But that doesn't mean they have a 100 percent chance of keeping their pick. Because all 14 teams in the draft lottery have a chance of landing a top-three pick, there is still a small chance that the Pistons themselves get a top-three pick or that someone below them gets a top-three selection and pushes Detroit down to the ninth spot -- and handing over their pick to Charlotte.
So technically, at worst, the Pistons have an 82.4 percent chance of keeping their draft pick -- 72.4 percent chance they stay at pick No. 8 and a 10 percent chance of landing somewhere in the top three.
But there is still an extremely small chance that the Pistons tie the Sacramento Kings for the seventh-worst record in basketball. Each team has two games left and Detroit would have to lose both while Sacramento would have to win both.
Detroit has games today against the Toronto Raptors and Wednesday at Oklahoma City Thunder. The Kings, meanwhile, play at home against Minnesota and Wednesday at home against Phoenix. Assuming things go right today (Pistons lose, Kings win), then Wedensday's game against the Suns would be mighty interesting.
The Suns are still fighting the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot out West. The two teams play each other Monday and everyone should be rooting for a Grizzlies win. Assuming the Suns leave it all out on the floor Monday and come up short, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have much fight left for Wednesday's game against the Kings.
A small possibility, yes, but something worth watching nonetheless.
Go Kings. Go Grizzlies. Go Raptors. Go Thunder.