Who should win the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery?

Karl-Anthony Towns

It is that time of year again. The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery will be held tonight. Who deserves to win it?

I like to imagine a world in which the draft order is determined by Davometrics – my balanced consideration of each franchise’s fan base, history, location, ownership, front office, existing talent and any other miscellaneous factors that I consider relevant.

I want the best young prospects (such as Karl-Anthony Towns, pictured above) to have the chance to develop in the best possible basketball environment: in front of sold-out crowds of educated, passionate fans who will appreciate watching them develop; for owners who are financially committed to surrounding them with the necessary talent; preferably in a large, thriving metropolis that offers a superior quality of life and great marketing opportunities.

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1994 NBA Draft revisited: Kidd, Hill, Big Dog & Co.

The ’93 Draft, which was revisited here last week, was deemed “not great” by esteemed readers of the blog. 1994 was certainly worse, producing no MVPs, just five All-Stars, and a No. 1 pick whose career was underwhelming.

However, it did yield one of the all-time greats at his position (Jason Kidd), one of the original “next Michael Jordan” candidates (Grant Hill), the largest ever rookie contract (Glenn Robinson), and the first ever $100 million player (Juwan Howard).

Here are the top 10 picks, retrospectively re-ordered to reflect each player’s NBA accomplishments:

1) Jason Kidd (picked No. 2 by Dallas)

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1,391 games, 36.0 minutes, 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 40.0% FGs, 17.9 PER.

Best season: 2002/03 – 80 games, 18.7 points, 8.9 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 41.4% FGs, 22.2 PER, 49-33 record, All-NBA 2nd team.

Most memorable moment: 30-point, 10-assist performance in Game 3 of the ’02 Finals.

Kidd was the best point guard of his generation and is an easy choice for No. 1 here, even if he did inexplicably die his hair blonde, assault his ex-wife, and get traded twice during his prime.

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The end of the road for the vexing ’13/14 Pacers

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Mercifully, the Indiana Pacers’ season came to an end last night as the Miami Heat advanced to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.

The 2013/14 Pacers will go down as one of the most perplexing, frustrating and disappointing teams in NBA history: a team that began the regular season 33-7 and ended it losing 13 of 21 games; a No. 1 seed that nearly lost in the first round to a 38-44 team missing its best player and was finally blown out by 25 points in their final game of the season.

They became frankly unbearable over recent weeks and months. Let us celebrate them no longer being in our lives.

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Poor defense dooms LeBron, Heat as Pacers take 1-0 lead

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The Indiana Pacers took a surprising 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals last night. What went wrong for Miami?

Defense is clearly where the game was lost for the Heat. Giving up 107 points to the Pacers is something they have not done since Josh McRoberts and Mike Dunleavy Jr. graced Indy’s starting lineup.

Their Game 1 porousness started with none other than LeBron James, who had several of the kind of halfcourt defensive lapses that close inspectors of his game have become accustomed to seeing this season.

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Is Joe Johnson the worst All-Star selection in modern NBA history?

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Kyle Lowry, Arron Aflalo, Al Jefferson and Lance Stephenson each had a better case to make the All-Star Game than Joe Johnson, who was voted in as a reserve this week by NBA coaches. His inclusion must go down as the most baffling in modern All-Star memory.

At this stage in Johnson’s career, he is a one-dimensional scorer who is not particularly good at that one dimension. At 15.7 points per game, he is 53rd on the league’s leading scorers list – just slightly ahead of Gerald Henderson, Carlos Boozer and Dion Waiters – and ranks just 141st in PER.

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The .800 club: the NBA’s fab four through 20 games

The NBA season is 42 days old, and it is as good a time as any to take an early snapshot of the league and its elite teams.

Every team has played at least 20 games (except the Spurs, who had a game postponed), and several are playing at an extremely high level.

Four teams have .800-or-better records through December 10:

Indiana: 18-3 (.857)
Portland: 18-4 (.818)
Oklahoma City: 16-4 (.800)
San Antonio: 15-4 (.800)

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NBA Eastern Conference preview: over/under predictions

The over/under betting lines for team win totals have been released for the 2013/14 season.  Which teams will win more games than Vegas predicts and which teams will win less? And how many will prove me right and ultimately win me some money? First up, let us tackle the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta Hawks: 39.5 wins; UNDER.
The Hawks won 44 games last year and have since lost their leading scorer and best defender (Josh Smith). Paul Millsap is a good pickup on a very good contract, but when he and Jeff Teague are your second and third best players and DeMarre Carroll is in your starting lineup, you’re not winning 40 games – which is fine by me, because any 6th-seeded team that finishes 26th in attendance deserves to never make the playoffs again (see below). Give a fanbase that actually cares a chance.

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