It is a good thing the Detroit Pistons weren't in the NBA draft lottery last night. If not simply because it meant the Pistons were a playoff team, they just haven't had much luck at all during the recent lotteries. I mean, Alanis Morisette rain on your wedding day, free ride when you've already paid, red light when you're already late type
irony bad luck.
Take a look at this chart posted by FiveThirtyEight shortly before the NBA lottery on Tuesday night:
|CUMULATIVE PICK VALUE|
|Los Angeles Lakers||5377.6||5530||+152.4|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||3497.4||3530||+32.6|
|Portland Trail Blazers||2078.3||2030||-48.3|
|New Orleans Pelicans||2850.9||2380||-470.9|
|New York Knicks||3138.7||2660||-478.7|
But if you look a little deeper and do some thinking beyond the numbers, maybe the Pistons' lottery luck (or lack thereof) worked out for the best. Lucky to be so unlucky.
As you might recall, the Pistons had a 60 percent chance of staying at the No. 7 spot in 2013. They wound up with No. 8. The Pistons drafted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Would they have taken Ben McLemore at No. 7? I'd rather have KCP, and it's not even close at this point.
In 2014, they had an 82-percent chance of keeping their Top-8 protected pick, and they lost it to Charlotte as part of that really awesome Ben Gordon trade. If not in 2014, they would have for sure lost that pick in 2015, which turned into Stanley Johnson. The No. 8 pick (or No. 9 where Charlotte picked) in 2014 could have yielded the Pistons Noah Vonleh, Elfrid Payton or Doug McDermott or anyone else drafted later. Not a lot of eye-popping names. He's got a ways to go, but for now I'd rather have the Stanimal.
So, yeah, that chart shows that the Pistons were incredibly unlucky when it came to their starting odds vs. end results, but ultimately it seems to have worked out in their favor.
Isn't it ... ironic?