10 Years of Movin’ On Up

Posted by: Rich Iacuzio
05/19/14 10:00 am EST

2010draftlotterycard#2As we all know, the NBA Draft Lottery is only a few days away.  For Philadunkia nation, May 20th will be one of the most stressful nights of this long season due to its huge ramifications.  The 76ers have the second best odds of attaining the #1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.  Unfortunately, having the second best odds doesn’t always seem to land a top pick.  Of course we have a 19.90% chance of grabbing the top selection, but our selection has a chance to slip all the way to the 5th spot.

Over the past ten years there have been a number of teams who have unexpectedly jumped into the top 3 on the draft board via the NBA Draft Lottery.  After the jump, I’ll review the last ten years and take a look and the teams who have been lucky enough to move up the board and I will also examine how that pick panned out for the franchise.

In 2003, the Cavaliers came into the draft with the worst record in the League.  This landed them the number #1 pick.  That pick turned into LeBron James a couple weeks later.  I think we all know how he’s turned out.  One team that slipped into the top 3 of the 2003 Draft, the Detroit Pistons, ended up with the 2nd pick in the Draft with the 6th best odds.  That 2nd pick landed them Darko Milicic.  Remember him?

In 2004, the Orlando Magic landed the 1st overall pick with the worst record in the League.  This landed them Dwight Howard.  Dwight was a project at the time, but with all of his physical tools, he soon became the all-star level player we’ve come accustomed to seeing.  One team that jumped into the top 3 of the Draft was the Charlotte Bobcats.  The Cats landed the 2nd overall pick despite owning the 5th best odds.  With the pick, the Cats selected Emeka Okafor.  Okafor never really became the player that he was projected to be coming out of UConn.  This year was Okafor’s 9th in the League, he’s had career averages of 12.3 PPG and 9.9 RPG and is playing for his fourth team.

In 2005, the Milwaukee Bucks jumped 5 spots in the Lottery to surprisingly land the first pick in the Draft.  The Bucks entered the Draft Lottery with the 6th best odds to land the 1st pick.  With the #1 pick, the Bucks selected Andrew Bogut.  Bogut averaged 9.4 PPG and 7 RPG during his rookie season with the Bucks, but the frequently injured big man is currently playing for the Golden State Warriors.

In 2006, another surprising jump occurred at the NBA Draft Lottery Selection Show.  The Toronto Raptors, coming into the Draft Lottery, had an 8.80% chance of landing the top pick in the Draft.  The ping pong balls fell their way that night.  With the #1 pick in the draft, the Raptors selected Andrea Bargnani.  During his 7 years in the NBA, the former #1 pick has averaged 15 PPG and 4.9 RPG.  Decent numbers, but not what the Raptors were expecting.  They would’ve been much happier with the 2nd pick that year, LaMarcus Aldridge.

In 2007, the Durant-Oden draft saw a complete shake up.  The Portland Trail Blazers, with a 5.30% chance of winning the Lottery, ended up with the #1 pick.  The Seattle SuperSonics, with an 8.80% chance of grabbing the top pick, landed in the 2nd slot.  As you all know, Greg Oden went 1st overall and Kevin Durant followed immediately as the 2nd selection.  I think it’s safe to say that Portland made the wrong choice here.

Over the past 10 years, no NBA Draft has seen the jaw dropping jump that happened at the 2008 Draft Lottery.  The Chicago Bulls secured the #1 pick with the 9th best odds.  The team definitely had lady luck on their side that night because they only had a 1.70% chance of winning the Lottery.  This jump landed Chicago the explosive, yet injury prone, Derrick Rose.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Clippers landed the 1st overall pick with the 3rd best odds.  This pick brought the franchise one of their current superstars, Blake Griffin.  The biggest jump in the Lottery that June was by the Memphis Grizzlies.  They moved up 4 spots in the Lottery which landed them the 2nd overall pick.  With the pick, the Grizzlies selected Hasheem Thabeet.  Needless to say that didn’t work out so well for the Grizz.

In 2010, the 76ixers, with the 6th best odds at the #1 pick, moved all the way up to the second slot to grab Evan Turner.  Yes, we all know that name, don’t we?  “The Enigma”  never really found his spot on the team.  We thought we had our backcourt of the future solidified with Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner.  Well, 4 years later, neither of them are a part of the team’s future plans.  The Washington Wizards selected John Wall with the #1 pick that year.  They came into the Draft with a 10.30% chance of grabbing the top selection.  I think it’s safe to say that they made the correct choice.

In 2011, the Cleveland Cavaliers jumped 7 spots in the Draft Lottery to grab the #1 selection slot.  Coming into the Lottery, the Cavs had a 2.80% chance of acquiring the top pick in the Draft.  With the top pick, the Cavs selected injured Duke point guard Kyrie Irving.  Irving, one of the most exciting young talents in the NBA, has certainly made a name for himself in the League. In just two seasons, he’s become an All Star who has averaged 20.7 PPG and 5.8 APG.  He is a crucial piece of Cleveland’s future, assuming he decides to remain a Cav.

In 2012, the New Orleans Pelicans grabbed the #1 pick with the 4th best odds.  With the pick, the Pelicans selected future stud, Anthony Davis.  Anthony Davis is getting better every year, and will soon become one of the top players in the League.  Last season, his 2nd year in the League, he averaged 20.8 PPG, 10 RPG, and 2.8 BPG.  He is the future in New Orleans.

Last year’s Draft Lottery saw the Cleveland Cavaliers jump up 2 spots to secure the #1 pick.  Surprisingly, Anthony Bennett of UNLV was their selection.  The biggest jump in the 2013 Lottery belonged to the Washington Wizards.  With the 8th best odds, they secured the No. 3 slot, which landed them Georgetown’s Otto Porter.  Both of these players have much to prove entering their second year in the Association.  It can be argued that both of these players have yet to find their role in the league.  It will be fun to see how they progress in the upcoming years.

As you can see, the Draft Lottery has seen plenty of unexpected surprises during the past 10 years.  As I went through the drafts, I noticed that the team with the 2nd best odds for the #1 pick has fallen out of the Top 3, seven out of ten times.  This isn’t the best of news for Sixers fans.

Hopefully lady luck is on our side on Tuesday night.   Everyone go find and hold onto your good luck charms.


Rich Iacuzio is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twiiter @richiacuzio.

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.


14 Responses to “10 Years of Movin’ On Up”

  1. Chris H.
    19. May 2014 at 11:18

    Just a slight correction. The Pistons had the 2nd pick in the 2004 pick, not the Grizzlies…unless there was a trade that got the Pistons that draft pick from Memphis. Regardless, anxiously (and nervously) awaiting the lottery tomorrow night!

  2. RYN_JAY
    19. May 2014 at 17:49

    Damn, so according to the data, the odds don’t mean shit. LOL It sounds like a straight crapshoot to me.

  3. Philadunkia
    19. May 2014 at 18:42


    Good catch on that item…Edit has been made.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    C. Smith

  4. johnny
    19. May 2014 at 20:30

    Yepper! The more you look at things the more it does resemble a craps shoot. lol So with all our strategy we will need some luck too. I will be happy with TWO lottery picks…regardless of the order, we should be able to make some HAY that way.

    Don’t forget once we get the order established the Hinkiemonster is known for wheeling and dealing also. Lucky for us this really is a deep and talented draft, but a little good fortune wouldn’t hurt.

    Tune in at halftime of tomorrow’s game. GO PHILLY! jw

  5. Alex
    19. May 2014 at 22:41

    Well 100% chance to get top 5 (Wiggins, Parker Embiid, Exum, (Vonleh/Randele). Honesty at this point in time and the amount of info we have, I do not see any significant difference between these 6.
    Sam Hinkie may know more based on his data Modeling.

  6. steve toll
    20. May 2014 at 17:19

    anything but embiid is a failure

  7. johnny
    20. May 2014 at 20:50

    Not bad, not bad I got my wish TWO lottery picks. Yeah! 3rd and 10th let the speculation begin. lol jw

  8. Philadunkia
    21. May 2014 at 10:56


    While I like Embiid as a player, but I don’t see how he fits with the 76ers current roster. Neither he nor Noel can play the 4 in today’s NBA as they simply don’t have the offensive game/shooting touch. So how are your proposing that they co-exist?

    –C. Smith

  9. steve toll
    21. May 2014 at 12:12

    let’s say that Hinkie projects Nerlens will become one of these 3; BUST/Dikembe Mutumbo/Average Starter and Hinkie projects that Embiid will become a stud. In which of the 3 scenarios would you not take Embiid?

    Teams generally win an NBA title with a HOF level frontcourt player (and fail without one) and Embiid is the only guy in this draft that potentially fits the mold.

    Also this team is going to be very bad again next year and their are only so many minutes available to play with Embiid, Noel and Sims, the latter of whom will certainly get traded to a contender for a 1st rd pick if he plays next year like he did at the tail end of this year.

    It doesn’t matter though because we are not getting Embiid, we are 0% to get him unless Hinkie does the SMART thing (which Hinkie has shown he’s been incapable of doing except for the Jrue trade, which other than being terrible for New Orleans hasn’t exactly been great for us, though time will tell) and trade MCW+Noel+3rd pick to get Embiid

  10. johnny W
    22. May 2014 at 01:26

    Wow what a relief…TWO lottery picks, so all this suffering panned out for us. So far so good…let’s not over think this, who ever is left betweeen: Parker, Embiid or Wiggins. We embrace the pick, plus isn’t the pay scale cheaper for the 3rd pick? IDK but also a plus won’t be so much pressure living up to the THIRD overall.

    Also let’s not rush trading THAD…with all these young kids we need his steady hand. Plus he’s a proven player too and fits our style…not to mention the guy only 25 years young. DANG! I just sold myself. lol THAD’s a keeper.

    Could have been a disaster…just think if it was the Pelicans who slid up? We’d all be sour grapes about now. lol jw

  11. steve toll
    22. May 2014 at 10:34

    johnny w,

    Thad has to be traded and if you dont understand why, that’s on you. This season was disgusting and the draft lottery was a failure.

  12. Leave Troll
    22. May 2014 at 11:07

    johnny w,

    Thad has to be kept and if you don’t understand why, that’s on me. This season was great and the draft lottery was a success.

  13. Carl
    22. May 2014 at 13:19

    I think “failure” is a bit of an overstatement.

    Let’s see. Going into the most touted draft in years we have 2 top 10 picks, a slew of 2nd rounders, a very desirable player in Thad Young, a ton of cap space to take on other team’s bad contracts, MCW who just won ROY (his value is sky high and I know you would love if we traded him)and of course the mystery that is Nerlens Noel.

    So even if you’re totally distraught we didn’t get 1st pick and are completely sure that Embiid is going to be the next coming of Hakeem, we are in one of the best positions to make moves on draft day to ensure we get the player(s) that we want. And I know you’ve got a big old hate-boner for him (or you’re just expert level trolling, I can’t tell), there are few GMs I would rather have at the reins on June 26th than Hinkie.

  14. steve toll
    22. May 2014 at 23:07


    The 76ers have the 3rd and 10th pick. 2nd rd picks are valuable to good teams that are capped out. Thad might fetch a middling 1st rd pick, it was a mistake to hold onto him. I assume you mean “take on bad contracts for picks ie. Boozer+1st rd pick”. MCW’s value is overrated by people in Philly, he sucks.

    Hinkie has done nothing but fail since he has taken over and his mentor is a massive fraud. Assume that he is an “elite GM” with caution

Leave a Reply