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NBA draft 2016: Pistons were the unluckiest team in 2013-2015 draft lotteries by a wide margin

Or were they?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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:

Cleveland Cavaliers 5121.8 8000 +2878.2
Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats 5644.1 6900 +1255.9
Minnesota Timberwolves 7111.1 7880 +768.9
Washington Wizards 2329.6 2890 +560.4
Los Angeles Lakers 5377.6 5530 +152.4
Milwaukee Bucks 3132.4 3250 +117.6
Oklahoma City Thunder 3497.4 3530 +32.6
Dallas Mavericks 1793.1 1760 -33.1
Indiana Pacers 1967.1 1930 -37.1
Miami Heat 2067.4 2030 -37.4
Portland Trail Blazers 2078.3 2030 -48.3
Toronto Raptors 100.2 0 -100.2
Denver Nuggets 4324.2 4210 -114.2
Philadelphia 76ers 7933.2 7710 -223.2
Orlando Magic 8720.8 8410 -310.8
Boston Celtics 2720.6 2380 -340.6
Utah Jazz 6376.3 6030 -346.3
Phoenix Suns 6312.7 5950 -362.7
New Orleans Pelicans 2850.9 2380 -470.9
New York Knicks 3138.7 2660 -478.7
Sacramento Kings 7533.6 6860 -673.6
Detroit Pistons 6588.8 4400 -2188.8
Which teams have enjoyed the most (and least) lottery luck?

NBA draft lotteries, 2013-15


Holy shit.

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?