Detroit enters the night, to be broadcast on ESPN, with the third worst record and even odds to nab a top-4 pick. They can also fall, of course, and have roughly a 60% chance of picking from 4-7 and a 40% chance of picking 1-3.
More specifically, the odds look like this, per Tankathon.
Of course, last year the Pistons had the second-worst record in the NBA and despite just a 14% chance of landing the first pick, they nabbed it for the first time in 50 years and selected Cade Cunningham.
Cunninham subsequently spent his rookie season proving he “Is That Dude.” That means this might be the last time the Pistons enter lottery night with anything close to decent odds of landing a top pick. So hopefully there is a little luck left in this cruel world.
After winning the lottery with Ben Wallace as their player rep last season, the franchise is returning to the Going to Work era and having Richard Hamilton stand in this year.
Pistons fans are nervous. They want a superstar to pair with Cunningham, and there are huge question marks with all the top prospects this season. That means the Pistons could still land a star and the top player on their board if they pick anywhere from 1 to 4, but it is also more clear than most years that the lottery and draft truly are a crap shoot.
To quell those nerves, many fans spend tons of time on Tankathon, simming the lottery and hoping their team landed the first overall pick. So many people have done it, in fact, that I’ve resisted the urge. Didn’t want the easy content, didn’t want to go down a rabbit hole. I told myself I would do it just once on lottery night. So now is the time. I promise you I am only clicking this Sim Lottery button once, and I am living with the results.
Let’s see how we do ...
Now, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero are the two players atop my personal board, so this works out great for me. Whether you agree, or whether Troy Weaver agrees, remains to be seen. But it’d be great to see Detroit in the driver’s seat one more time.