With RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish in the draft already, and Zion Williamson presumably not far behind, we can take an early look at the draft.
It’s impossible to know anything for sure until the lottery is held on May 14th, but we can talk about the teams that will be in it. They will be:
The various ties will be resolved Friday by coin flips and then we’ll have the preliminary order.
Nobody has better than a 14 percent chance winning and that’ll be New York, Phoenix and Cleveland. The Bulls have a 12.5 percent shot, the Mavericks are at 7.5 percent, the Lakers are down at 2 percent, the Hornets are just 1 percent and the Kings are at the end at 0.5 percent.
No one knows what will happen of course but it would be fun to see any of those teams take Zion Williamson, not least of all Dallas where he’d team up with Luka Doncic which would be a little like putting Charles Barkley and Larry Bird on the same team.
If the order stays the same as it is now, with New York, Phoenix and Cleveland as the top three, we’d expect them to take Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett.
It’s really hard to get a firm idea of where Cam Reddish will go but he won’t stay on the board for too long.
Our hope for any Duke guys in the draft, any year, is that they go to a strong organization. At this point, those include, but are not limited to, Boston, Utah, San Antonio, Indiana, Miami, Philadelphia, Portland, Milwaukee and Golden State.
Losing is one thing - you’re very likely to lose if you’re a high draft pick - but if you’re with a good organization, it may not be for long.
The weird thing is not having the Los Angeles Lakers on that list. That franchise has been solid since, well, from the time it was in Minneapolis until 2013, the last time they made the playoffs.
The Lakers have missed the last six; prior to that, since 1949, they missed five times.
That’s incredible and it’s a shame that the Lakers are no longer the Lakers. The jersey still stands for something but with the disarray we’ve seen from L.A. this season, it may not for much longer.