What do you do for an encore? For the Detroit Pistons it’s all about going back to work. Or more specifically, the Going to Work era, as the team announced Rip Hamilton will represent Detroit at Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery. The NBA Draft lottery will be held at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday and air on ESPN.
Last year, the Pistons representative was Hamilton’s teammate Ben Wallace. The recently minted Hall of Famer rewarded Detroit (if you believe in the basketball karma) with its first No. 1 overall draft pick in 50 years.
They used that pick on Cade Cunningham, and the guard hailing from Oklahoma State did not disappoint in his first season. Now it’s all about repeating that lottery luck and getting him a top-tier running mate who can be the perfect complement to Cunningham.
Who exactly that perfect running mate is depends on who you ask. There are no consensus choices this season — even at No. 1 overall. It could be a defensive-minded big man who can also stretch the floor in Chet Holmgren. It could be the all-around playmaking and offensive creation of Paolo Banchero. It could be the elite shotmaking and length of Jabari Smith Jr. who could punish teams for ever leaving him on the perimeter.
The Pistons finished with the league’s third-worst record in the NBA last season, and could fall anywhere from 1-7 depending on who lands in the top three of the draft lottery.
I know it’s extremely unlikely the Pistons win the draft lottery for two consecutive seasons. They are almost twice as likely to fall to No. 6 than they are to jump up to No. 1. All I’m saying is ... if Rip Hamilton shows up to that lottery wearing the mask ... look out.
Here is the full list of who you will see representing each team during the NBA Draft Lottery.