Bad luck in last year's NBA Draft cost the Detroit Pistons their first round pick, but it may not wind up making much of a difference. And the bright side is at least the team won't have to sit out the first round this year.
Like 2014, the Pistons are slotted for the eighth pick which gives them 28 out of the 1,000 chances for the top draft pick. Last year the Cleveland Cavaliers, slotted ninth, beat the odds by jumping past the Pistons to win the top pick in the draft - and dropping the Pistons to the ninth spot.
The Pistons' first round pick was included in a salary dumping trade of Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette to the Charlotte Hornets in 2012, but was top 14 protected in the 2013 draft and top 8 protected in 2014. The Cavs move to drop the Pistons down meant that Detroit had to send Charlotte their pick that materialized as Noah Vonleh from Indiana University. Vonleh turned out to be lightly used for the Hornets, but at just 19 years old still has plenty of potential.
On Tuesday night, the Pistons have a 72.4 percent chance of nothing happening and a 17.6 percent chance of receiving bad news. Then there's the tantalizing 10 percent.
Detroit has a 2.8 percent chance of winning the top draft pick, a 3.3 percent chance at the second pick, and a 3.9 percent chance at the third.
Either way the Pistons are in a relatively good position for this year's draft. A top three pick and a chance to draft either Karl Towns or Justise Winslow would be great, but impact players at positions of need should be readily available even if the worst case scenario hits and the Pistons drop. Players like Stanley Johnson, Kristaps Porzingis, Mario Hezonja, and Frank Kaminsky all certainly should be attractive prospects to Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower.
The lottery will be televised Tuesday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN in New York before game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. General manager Jeff Bower will represent the Pistons, after the team has typically sent players in recent years.