The NBA Draft Lottery is here and it means something relevant to the Pistons has finally arrived. Celebrating the NBA Draft Lottery is practically an annual tradition for Pistons fans as the team has been a regular participant for nearly all of the past decade.
NBA Draft Lottery Vitals
When: 8:30 p.m. EST
Where: Socially distanced remote
Watch: ESPN and the ESPN App
Will Detroit land the No. 1 pick?
I mean, someone has to but probably not. The Pistons enter the night with a 10.5% chance of landing the No. 1 overall selection. That gives Detroit the fifth best odds of moving up and netting the top pick. The Pistons have, in fact, never moved up in the NBA Draft Lottery. But they’ve moved back — several times. The lottery has never really been their friend, as detailed by Brady earlier. It’d be fitting if this year’s draft, which most people consider fairly weak, was the year Detroit’s luck finally changed. I believe they call that a pyrrhic victory.
OK, so if Detroit doesn’t land the No 1 pick where will they land?
The NBA flattened the lottery odds in an attempt to discourage the most horrific kinds of tanking among teams. The jury is still out on whether it worked or if it is even a good idea, but it did significantly alter the odds of a team moving into the top three of the draft. Now, the three worst teams have the same odds in the lottery — just a 14% chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick.
It works out like this:
No. 1 overall: 14%
Top-2 pick: 27.4%
Top-3 pick: 40.2%
Top-4 pick: 52.1%
The worst team in the NBA, therefore, has better odds of picking fifth overall than they do picking in the top four. For teams below that, they could slide to fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
So where does that leave the Pistons?
Detroit has the fifth-best odds in the NBA Draft Lottery. So their actual odds look like this. Remember, these are cumulative percentages and not individual draft slots:
No. 1 pick: 10.5%
Top-2 pick: 21%
Top-3 pick: 31.5%
Top-4 pick: 43%
After those top four picks, with 10.5% bites at the apple each, the odds look like a bell curve.
No. 5 overall: 2.2%
No. 6 overall: 19.6%
No. 7 overall: 26.7%
No. 8 overall 8.7%
No. 9 overall: 0.6%
So, technically, on a singular pick basis, the Pistons would be most likely to fall to No. 7 than any other specific draft slot. But cumulatively, they have a 43% chance of landing somewhere in the top 4.
My head hurts.
Who is their draft representative at the lottery?
Representing the Pistons at this year’s NBA Draft Lottery will be its newest GM and anointed savior of the franchise Troy Weaver. No current or former players, no cute kids, no Tom Gores (thank the lord). Just the well-respected GM who is going to get us out of this mess.
Who should the Pistons draft?
Isn’t that the million dollar question. Fans tend to fall in love with certain players in the draft and that is why I love to have our fans at DBB build their own big board so that if a player they were targeting gets poached early or the Pistons trade up or down, we have a sense of who the fans say, the team would be wise to take.
Now, democracy is a messy thing (example, see: The World). That is especially true this year when there is little consensus among the top players in the draft and different evaluators take different kinds of home run swings when trying to ID the diamond in the rough among a weaker class. Luckily, DBB is also home to some truly intelligent and independent thinkers who actually care about college ball and evaluate the players accordingly.
I’ll shout out Steve Hinson who just published his draft board today and featured a player you’ll never see No. 1 anywhere else — Kira Lewis Jr. — as the best target for the Pistons. There is also Laz Jackson who has been beating the Killian Hayes drum for half a year. And then there is DBB’s newest addition — ScottFL — who has been building big boards and talking draft prospects relentlessly. Scott’s latest board has a conventional top 2 — Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball — but then the captain of the Team Poku ship has Aleksej Pokusevski No. 3 and Patrick Williams No. 4.
After the Pistons win the lottery, what should I do?
The first thing you should do is scream loudly and obnoxiously. The second thing you should do is celebrate with your friends on the internet. Our own Ku Khahil will be livestreaming his immediate reaction following the results on his Twitter page (@KuKhahilNBA). We will also be bringing you instant reactions and analysis on DBB The Website and DBB The Twitter.
If the Pistons get screwed in the lottery is there any reason to hope?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, yessss. Teams can rebuild without the No. 1 pick. They just have to get the draft right. Can Weaver get the draft right? The jury is out, but he has a good reputation as a talent evaluator and the Pistons regime since Stan Van Gundy seems to have the correct mindset. They drafted the youngest player in the draft last year in Sekou Doumbouya, which is generally a smart idea even if it means delayed satisfaction. They also plucked Bruce Brown in the second round.
Also, as DBB contributor JoeTruck highlighted in a recent Twitter thread, there were star and superstar players available for the taking every year the Pistons found themselves stuck in the mid-lottery. They were even players Detroit was reportedly high on. They just happened to go a different way.
This time, with this regime, it just needs to be different.
What about that DBB Big Board you keep mentioning?
The Official DBB Big Board looks like this:
- Anthony Edwards
- Killian Hayes
- LaMelo Ball
- Deni Avdija
- Tyrese Haliburton
- Aleksej Pokusevski
- James Wiseman
- Devin Vassell
You can see the final poll results for reach pick and a breakdown of the results in the DBB Big Board Hub.
How’d the Pistons fans do?
As mentioned previously, democracy is messy. I don’t anticipate every pick fell in line with a reader’s individual assessment, and you might think some picks are downright crazy. If this really was Troy Weaver’s Big Board, and he was committed to it on NBA Draft night, what grade would you give it?
What Grade Would You Give the Official DBB Big Board?
This poll is closed
Bring Back Joe Dumars