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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Bucks vs Knicks in London: screenshot diary

The NBA returns to the UK for its fifth London-hosted regular season game. For many Brits, this is a high-point of their exposure to the league.

Even though it’s an underwhelming matchup given New York’s current fecklessness and Milwaukee’s general irrelevance, a screenshot diary is mandatory. God save the Queen.

Pre-game

It’s a nominal Bucks home game, but both teams get the full pre-game intro treatment, meaning the crowd gets to sit through not just one but two generic hype videos.

Jared Dudley and Carmelo Anthony address the crowd and thank them for showing their support. Dudley no doubt realizes that roughly no one has come to watch the Bucks, despite them being a dramatically better team.

I take it back. This man has come to see the Bucks.

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Takeaways from the first three nights of the NBA season

It’s the opening week of the new NBA season, which means the League Pass fest is in full effect.

Here are my screenshot-backed observations from the first three nights.

This Spurs employee needs a manicure:

Spurs ring

It is not clear who is holding the ring here, but to whoever it is: Come on, dude. You’re on national TV. Don’t look like a tramp.

The Lakers’ season is already over:

Julius Randle

Just when you thought the Lakers could not get any more depressing, Julius Randle breaks his leg. A devastating blow for the lad, and a clear cue for the Lakers to embrace being as bad as possible and maintaining their top-five protected draft pick. With Jeremy Lin running the point like this, it seems inevitable.

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1993 NBA Draft revisited: C-Webb, Penny, Van Exel & Co.

The ‘93 Draft produced no MVPs and only two All-NBA First Team selections, but was deep enough to yield seven All-Stars and a couple of huge post-lottery steals.

As was the case with the 1992 Draft, the first pick had the best career and two players picked outside of the top 20 had top-five careers.

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

1) Chris Webber (picked No. 1 by Orlando, traded to Golden State)

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831 games, 37.1 minutes, 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, 47.9% FGs, 20.9 PER.

Best season: 2000/01 – 70 games, 27.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 blocks, 48.1% FGs, 24.7 PER, 55-27 record, All-NBA 1st team, 4th in MVP voting.

Most memorable moment: Behind-the-back dunk on Barkley.

The Rookie of the Year, a 5-time All-Star and a 5-time All-NBA selection, Webber never quite fulfilled his otherworldly potential or won a championship, but remains one of the most athletic, skilled and best passing big men the game has seen. Over his prime seasons (’99 to ’03, his first five with the Kings), he averaged 24, 11 and 5, and came within a Robert Horry three of making the Finals.

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1992 NBA Draft revisited: Shaq, Zo, Spree & Co.

The ’92 Draft produced an all-time great (Shaq), a franchise player (Mourning), three other All-Stars (Sprewell, Guliotta, Laettner) and a 7-time champion (Horry).

As was the case with the 1990 Draft, the top two picks actually turned out to be the top two players – something that has not happened since.

Two players picked outside of the top 20 ended up having top-five careers – further evidence that there are always gems to be found outside of the lottery.

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

1) Shaquille O’Neal (picked No. 1 by Orlando)

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1,207 games, 34.7 minutes, 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, 58.2% FGs, 26.4 PER.

Best season: 1999/00 – 79 games, 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.0 blocks, 57.4% FGs, 30.5 PER, 67-15 record, MVP, Finals MVP.

Most memorable moment: Alley-oop dunk to seal the Lakers’ Game 7 win over Portland in the Conference Finals

An easy pick then and an easy pick now.

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NBA comedy: Slava Kravstov’s New York moment

Last night, the Suns’ Markieff Morris was ejected for picking up his second technical foul after being fouled on his way to the basket by the Knicks’ J.R. Smith.

It was a bad call, and it led to a rare NBA happenstance: with the free throw shooter ejected, the opposing team gets to nominate one of his teammates to replace him at the line.

With the game taking place at Madison Square Garden, the home crowd (forever witty and attentive) made the most of the moment, rising in laughter and anticipation as public address announcer Mike Wolcheski (also among the league’s best) explained the situation.

Mike Woodson could not hide his grin as he nominated unknown second year player Viacheslav “Slava” Kravtsov to remove his sweat suit and head to the line, to the ironic cheers of the highly-amused Knicks fans.

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Rockets vs Knicks: J.R. Smith is a birdbrain (and other insights)

The New York Knicks nearly pulled off back-to-back road wins in Texas. J.R. Smith saw to it that they did not.

With the shot clock turned off and 21 seconds remaining in a tied game, Smith decided to do what he does best: jack up an ill-advised shot.

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Of course, he missed.

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Bulls/Knicks observations: alternate jerseys, Bulls fans & World Peace

Four quick observations from the Chicago Bulls’ 82-81 win over the New York Knicks last night (beyond the obvious – that Derrick Rose made a great play to win the game despite the rust he’s still clearly carrying):

1) This alternate jersey nonsense must stop.

Why are the Bulls playing their home opener in road jerseys? What are these hideous orange things the Knicks are wearing? They clash horribly with the red paint on the United Center floor, diminishing the viewing experience.

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