Do you believe that lightning can strike twice in the same place? Well if you don't, the Raptors chances of getting the number one pick are done. Last year Cleveland won the NBA Draft Lottery, but it was not thanks to their worst record and their own pick. That pick would drop 3 spots and they would draft Canadian Tristan Thompson. The pick that landed them Kyrie Irving the eventual NBA Rookie of the Year was the 8th spot heading into the lottery. It was a pick they acquired in a trade with Clippers that saw them acquire Mo Williams and former Raptor Jamario Moon in exchange for Baron Davis and the pick. The Clippers with that typical luck the franchise has been famous for. That said, if the Clippers don't make that trade and draft Kyrie Irving they likely never land Chris Paul. The lottery has been a jumping off point for a lot of big trades based on the results directly or indirectly. Boston of course bombed out in the lottery and missed out on the number one pick and instead of drafting Greg Oden they made a trade to acquire Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics. This trade lead to another trade for Kevin Garnett and the Boston big three was born. It stopped the Celtics from losing Paul Pierce to complete the trio. So even if the Raptors don't win the lottery it might not be the end of the world.
The Raptors have been in the Lottery 11 times in franchise history. They have only moved up twice in those 11 trips to the Lottery:
1996: The Raptors entered the Lottery in the 3rd slot and ended up in 2nd. (They actually won the draft lottery but based on their agreement to enter the NBA were not allowed to select first) This pick would be used to draft Marcus Camby. It should or could have been used to select Allen Iverson at number one. That said, Isiah Thomas who was running the team at the time claims Camby would have been the pick at number one as well. The Raptors at the time were in desperate need of a big and with having Mighty Mouse Damon Stoudamire were not in need of a point guard so it is likely this was true. But still imagine how different the Raptors might have been with Allen Iverson?
2006: The Raptors entered the lottery in 5th spot and jumped all the way to number one. This is the draft that saw Andrea Bargnani become the first ever number one pick for the Toronto Raptors. It has been a long and bumpy road since than for Bargnani. This would turn out to be one of the worst draft classes in recent memory. The Raptors passed on guys like Lamarcus Aldridge and took the big Italian making him the first ever player from Europe to be selected number one overall.
So based on this the Raptors should be a lock for the first overall pick in 2016? Raptor fans sure hope not and would like to believe this team will be a fixture in the playoffs by that time. The Raptors have actually had some terrible luck in the Lottery. They have exited the lottery with a lower pick than what they came in with 5 times.
1998: Entered 2nd and fell to 4th (They Drafted: Antwan Jamison who was traded for Vince Carter)
1999: Entered 6th and fell to 6th ( They Drafted: Johnathan Bender traded to Pacers for Antonio Davis)
2003: Entered 3rd and fell to 4th (They Drafted: Chris Bosh)
2004: Entered 7th and fell to 8th (They Drafted...Wait For It!!! Rafael Araujo)
2011: Entered 3rd fell to 5th (They Drafted: Jonas Valancuinas)
Shockingly enough it seems things go well with one large exception for the Raptors when they drop in the lottery. Not that I am suggesting they tank the NBA Lottery but it sure is a pretty nice list of players they have ended up with as a result. The lone exception is of course the Rob Babcock pick of Araujo that could have been Andre Iguodala or a host of other guys that are still playing in the league today.
In the 4 times the Raptors did not move based on the Lottery here is who they took and where:
1997: Tracy McGrady 9th Overall
2005: Charlie Villianueva 7th Overall
2009: Demar DeRozan 9th Overall
2010: Ed Davis 13th Overall
Now that I think about it the start of this blog is wrong. Lighting could strike in a different place as the NBA Lottery is no longer held in New Jersey and has moved across the Hudson River to Time Square and the ABC/ESPN Studios. Dwane Casey will be the one representing the Raptors on the stage for this event. In case you were wondering the odds on the 8th pick. It has only moved up twice in 2001 to 2nd for Clippers and as mentioned the pick that belonged to the Clippers landed number one for the Cavs last season. This dates back to 1995. Raptors most likely outcome is to remain at 8th spot with a 70.38 % chance of that happening. The next most likely is they drop one spot to 9th with a 16.5% chance of that happening. The chance of landing the top pick is only 3.5% and to land in the Top 3 is less than 5%.
So that is all the facts and figures for NBA Lottery tomorrow. What is also fact is we will be having an NBA Lottery Chat as we have for the past few years. So come hang out with us and enjoy the NBA Lottery and some Raptor off-season chatter with Team DNB and you. I will be there hosting the chat and trying to keep you entertained. So make plans to join us for the Draft Lottery.