Rewarded for Losing

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Suns Clinch Top Lottery Odds

After Horrific Season, Phoenix Suns Clinch Top Draft Lottery Odds

Phoenix Suns fans have received some good news in an otherwise dreadful season.

The Suns’ 117-100 loss to the Warriors on Sunday clinched the worst record in the league, ensuring Phoenix of the best odds at nabbing the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Phoenix now has 25% odds to secure the first top pick in their history, with a 64% chance of picking in the top 3. Currently, the highest picks in franchise history are Armen Gilliam in 1987, and Neil Walk in 1969. Both were consolation prizes for failing to win the lottery (or in Walk’s case, a coin flip), and missing out on future NBA legends David Robinson and Lew Alcindor (soon to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), respectively. The Suns hope their luck will be different this time.

Phoenix has timed its ineptness well, as this draft marks the final one where the last-place team will have 25% odds of winning. Beginning with the 2019 draft, the top 3 teams will all have an equal 14% chance of winning the top pick, in an effort to discourage tanking.

The 20-61 Suns needs all the help that they can get. Despite a budding young star in Devin Booker, they are a truly bad team, becoming the first team to rank last in both offensive and defensive rating since the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats, an objectively horrible squad. Though other youngsters such as Dragan Bender, Josh Jackson and Marquese Chriss have shown flashes, they are still a ways away from being consistent contributors. Landing a young star, whether it be DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter or another top prospect, would go a long way towards putting Phoenix in the right direction.

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