The What-If Game: 2012 NBA Lottery

06.30.11 7 years ago 7 Comments

What’s up y’all? I believe K Dizzle and JAY have been asking the question for a while now: what happens to next year’s lottery if the entire season is cancelled? Forgetting that it’s a LONG way off, it’s still an interesting argument. Who gets the No. 1 pick? Do they re-run this year’s order? Do they redo this year’s lottery odds? Do they do something completely random and probably inexcusable?

I tried to answer it this weekend, but in reality there is no definite answer because the NBA hasn’t made a decision. You can’t blame them. No matter how dire the CBA situation looks right now (and it looks pretty bad), it’s not in Stern‘s best interests to all of a sudden start talking about what happens if the entire season goes bye bye.

So nothing’s definite, but there are some theories out there. In a recent ESPN.com chat, Chad Ford wrote:

Word from the league is that it’s to be determined. Not sure how they’ll go about it and neither do they. I think everyone on both sides hopes that they’ll be, at the very least, a shortened season. Losing the whole year is a devastating scenario for both sides. But if they do lose it, I think they could have a lottery for the entire league. Give odds based on projected records for 2011-12. And let the ping pong balls fly.

Ford isn’t exactly a Rhodes Scholar – he once said, “What sets Darko apart is his toughness in the post” – but we will give him the benefit of the doubt.

But imagine having a lottery for the ENTIRE league? How insane (could be good insane or bad insane) would that be? Let’s play the What-If Game (don’t kill me)…

-What if Miami somehow defied the odds and landed one of the top picks (although this might not happen because Cleveland has the right to swap picks w/ Miami in 2012 as part of the LeBron trade)? They could draft Anthony Davis or Perry Jones or Patric Young, either pair him with Chis Bosh for a super athletic, super wiry frontcourt, or they could just trade Bosh for even more assets, like say a serviceable PG and another future top pick. Or better yet, what if OKC landed the No. 1 pick and then had the rather disturbing question on their hands of “Wait, should we take ANOTHER young, athletic, potential All-Star player if we already have like three or four? Or should we swap this thing for two great vets, two ring chasers, two more draft picks & bundles of cash?” That would be scary.

-What if Dallas found it’s way into the top 3 or 5? Imagine that team with a Harrison Barnes or an Austin Rivers or a Marquis Teague? It would prolong their run, extend Jason Kidd and Dirk‘s careers and have Cuban kissing Stern on national TV.

-How bad would fans in Cleveland or Toronto or Charlotte feel if any of their teams got screwed over and landed in the 20s in a draft that – while it may have undeniable star power at the top – actually doesn’t have great depth? That would set them back another three years, missing out on Barnes or Myck Kabongo to instead land Alex Oriakhi.

-What if any of the older contenders (Lakers, Spurs & Celtics) ended up in the top 10 or even in the top 2 or 3? Someone out of Duncan, Kobe, Pierce/KG/Allen gets a big, unexpected boost to their ultimate resume because that team suddenly is right back at the top of the contenders with a great chance at more titles.

If they ever went this route and did an outsized version of the lottery with every team in the league, I bet we would get two or three top playoff teams that would somehow buck the system and get a top 10 pick in what is shaping up to be a loaded draft class. It wouldn’t seem fair, but it’s always inevitable with the lottery: someone would get screwed.

Just something to think about…

What do you think? Would this be the best way to handle things if the situation ever came to be?

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