Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

Winners and Losers of the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery

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The 2018 NBA draft lottery is officially in the books, as the Phoenix Suns were awarded the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in franchise history, while Sacramento and Atlanta moved into the top three.

With draft day just over a month away, here are some winners and losers from lottery night:

Winners


Phoenix Suns

After a 21-61 season, the Suns entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance to land the top pick, which worked out as the franchise will be the first on the clock on June 21.

They have needs all over their roster, and will now face a tough decision as it seems to be a neck-and-neck race between DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic for the top spot. Both players have a local connection as Ayton completed his one-and-done year at Arizona, and Doncic having been a member of the Slovenian national team under new head coach Igor Kokosov. – Mitch Robson

Sacramento Kings

The clear winner of the lottery was the long-suffering Kings, who shot up from an original lottery position of seventh to land the No. 2 pick. The talent available to them lines up with Sacramento’s needs, too – any of Ayton, Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter, or Mohamed Bamba would be good fits. But the Kings need to nail this one. – John Chick

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are gearing up for a massive summer in which they are expected to chase LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard, so they need all the assets they can get.

Keeping the No. 10 pick – by way of the Los Angeles Lakers – instead of forfeiting it to the Boston Celtics not only saves Bryan Colangelo some face, but it gives the Sixers another bullet in the chamber. That pick could be used in a potential package for Leonard, for example. – William Lou

Losers


Memphis Grizzlies

After shutting down Mike Conley and Tyreke Evans for the majority of the season in an effort to compile 60 losses, the Grizzlies were hoping their top-three odds would land them a standout player that could contribute on the road back to the playoffs next year.

Unfortunately for Memphis, it slid down to the fourth pick and will most likely be tasked with picking the right big man out of a group that includes Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Jaren Jackson Jr., and Bamba. – Robson

Sacramento Kings (again)

They need to nail this year’s pick because they will lose next year’s selection.

The Celtics get the more favorable choice between the Kings’ and 76ers’ 2019 first-round picks, and a rebuilding Sacramento squad is all but certain to finish with a worse record than Philly. Yet the pick also remains No. 1-protected for the 76ers, and anything beyond that would go to Boston – meaning the Kings will lose their selection in a draft that should feature R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cameron Reddish, and Nassir Little. – Chick

Dallas Mavericks

Karma came back to bite Mark Cuban in the butt, as his Mavericks held the third-best lottery odds, only to land the fifth pick.

Cuban paid a hefty $600,000 fine for publicly admitting to tanking, as if it wasn’t entirely obvious based on the shenanigans on the floor. The Mavericks competed for most of three quarters, then head coach Rick Carlisle would routinely submarine his own team’s chances by playing his worst lineups in the fourth quarter. They also wasted the penultimate season of Dirk Nowitzki’s career, all for a chance to draft a B-grade prospect like Bamba or Jackson. – Lou

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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