The NBA Draft Lottery took place Tuesday night, placing each of the 14 teams in the order they will recruit new prospects from this year’s exceptionally skilled rookie class. Here’s who gets to go first, plus what their positions will mean when it comes down to picking prospects during the NBA Draft on June 25.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Team representative: Glen Taylor, team owner
Draft history: The team has been in the lottery every year since 1989. Last year, they tapped Zach LaVine 13th overall with a first-round pick. LaVine went on to win the NBA All-Star dunk contest.
Fate: They won the draft lottery for the first time since 2004, despite being the NBA’s worst team. Minnesota will likely be gunning for possible top-five big men Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor to complement Canadian swingman Andrew Wiggins.
2. L.A. Lakers
Team representative: Byron Scott, head coach
Draft history: The Lakers haven’t missed a lottery since 2001. Seventh in 2014’s pecking order, the Lakers chose Julius Randle as their first-round pick. Luck wasn’t on their side, however, and he broke his leg during his on-court debut.
Fate: After a franchise-worst season, the Lakers required a top-five position to hold onto a protected selection that would otherwise have been conveyed to the 76ers. They scored second, which will ensure an expedited rebuild. The addition of Towns, Okafor, or D’Angelo Russell would serve them well.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Team representative: Nerlens Noel, sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft
Draft history: The Sixers had two first-round picks last year, which they used on Joel Embiid (3) and Elfrid Payton (10). This is the second straight year Philadelphia has been awarded the third draft pick.
Fate: The league’s third-worst team has many needs, so it’s likely they will target the best players available—Towns, Okafor, or Russell. The last on the list may be a particular boon to the team’s lacking frontcourt. They also hold five second-round picks: 35th, 37th, 47th, 58th and 60th.
4. New York Knicks
Team representative: Steve Mills, general manager
Draft history: They took Cleanthony Early (34) and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (51) in the second round of the 2014 draft. They haven’t had a number one pick since 1985, despite having the third-best chance of earning it this year.
Fate: Locked out of the top three picks during the upcoming draft, the Knicks are likely to continue their floundering trajectory. Expect them on this list next year.
5. Orlando Magic
Team representative: Alex Martins, CEO
Draft history: This is the team’s fifth straight draft lottery and they had the fifth best odds of winning. They chose Aaron Gordon in 2014 with the fourth overall pick.
Fate: Next year’s draft will potentially be deep at the top, including the likes of Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis and Justise Winslow. They can still pull a valuable new asset.
6. Sacramento Kings
Team representative: Vlade Divac, vice president and former player
Draft history: Last year the Kings earned the eighth pick, which they used to select Nik Stauskas, who provided little impact. The team hasn’t moved higher than sixth in the selection for more than 19 years, but they already had a first-round pick secured ahead of the lottery.
Fate: The team may not keep the pick, preferring to package it for a tried-and-true player—maybe not a veteran, but someone who can fill out their roster in a way a rookie cannot.
7. Denver Nuggets
Team representative: Josh Kroenke, team president and son of owner
Draft history: To this day, the Nuggets have never won the lottery. They selected Doug McDermott 11th overall in 2014.
Fate: Denver continues their 13-year streak of neither advancing or dropping in the lottery. A best-player-available ethic should be driving their choice. Mario Hezonja and Kristaps Porzingis, both versatile players, are good marks and likely to fall within reach of their pick.
8. Detroit Pistons
Team representative: Jeff Bower, general manager
Draft history: The Pistons have barely budged in the lottery the past few years. In 2014, they were pushed down to ninth, losing their top-eight trade protection and sending the pick to Charlotte. They chose Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (8) in the first round.
Fate: According to MLive, Detroit interviewed several prospects that may land within reach during the NBA Combine: Willie Cauley-Stein, Myles Turner, Stanley Johnson and Devin Booker, all good prospects for the team.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Team representative: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, second overall pick in the 2012 draft
Draft history: The team’s lottery fortunes haven’t shifted from ninth place, which they earned in 2014. They picked Noah Vonleh that year.
Fate: With Mario Hezonja (the best fit they could have hoped for this far down the line) likely to be selected before they can get at him, the Hornets will probably have to choose the best remaining player from among Stanley Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein and Devin Booker.
10. Miami Heat
Team representative: Alonzo Mourning, vice president of player services and former player
Draft history: Miami hasn’t been in the lottery since 2008.
Fate: The Heat held onto their top-10 protected pick, which would have otherwise gone to Philadelphia. That puts prospects Cameron Payne and Devin Booker in their neighbourhood, whom Miami may have to tap to plug a hole in their skillset should Goran Dragic depart.
11. Indiana Pacers
Team representative: Larry Bird, president
Draft history: Ahead of becoming Finals contenders in 2014, they roped in Louis Labeyrie as the 57th overall pick in the second round. Their last 11th pick was Hall of Famer Reggie Miller. They didn’t make playoffs this year, gaining them entry to the lottery.
Fate: ESPN’s mock draft projected that Indiana will pick Cameron Payne, who participated in the team’s first workout. They have also interviewed Myles Turner, another likely pick.
12. Utah Jazz
Team representative: Dennis Lindsay, general manager
Draft history: Utah signed Australian export Dante Exum using their fifth pick in last year’s draft.
Fate: Thanks to this year’s deep prospect list, any of the top 12 predicted prospects are likely to help the team’s performance—Trey Lyles, Kelly Oubre and Frank Kaminsky among them.
13. Phoenix Suns
Team representative: Alex Len, fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, and Jared Ornoski, 17-year-old cancer patient
Draft history: The Suns have never won a draft lottery and have participated the last five years. Last year they were fated with a terrible spot at 14th. They went with T.J. Warren (14) and Tyler Ennis (18), the former who exhibits good potential.
Fate: Phoenix will likely be looking at whoever they can get, but Jerian Grant and Trey Lyles are top predictions, especially if the team’s thinking of letting Brandon Knight go without being re-signed.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Team representative: Russell Westbrook, fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft
Draft history: This was the Thunder’s first lottery since 2013. They chose Steven Adams 12th overall.
Fate: Rumour has it that OKC was all about the point guards and shooters at the NBA Draft Combine, making Sam Dekker and Devin Booker likely candidates for the team’s pick.
15. Atlanta (From Brooklyn)
18. Houston (From New Orleans)
26. San Antonio
27. L.A. Lakers (From Houston)
28. Boston (From L.A. Clippers)
29. Brooklyn (From Atlanta)
Second Round Draft Order
32. Houston (From New York)
33. Boston (From Philadelphia via Miami)
34. L.A. Lakers
35. Philadelphia (From Orlando)
36. Minnesota (From Sacramento via Houston)
37. Philadelphia (From Denver via Houston, Portland and Minnesota)
47. Philadelphia (From New Orleans via Washington and L.A. Clippers)
48. Oklahoma City
50. Atlanta (From Toronto)
51. Orlando (From Chicago)
53. Cleveland (From Portland via Chicago and Denver)
54. Utah (From Cleveland)
55. San Antonio
56. New Orleans (From Memphis)
57. Denver (From L.A. Clippers)
58. Philadelphia (From Houston)
Only the top seeds remain
Not quite yet, we argue
Who’s on track to conference finals?