Love it or Hate It: NBA’s Lottery Not A Game For The Weak

In “Love It or Hate It,” “D and Davis Show” co-host Ken Davis breaks down the most controversial topics in the sports world.

Naaahu …. uuuuggggh ….  damn it!

No, I’m not writing out the sounds I expect to make should I ever pass a kidney stone, though I might as well…instead, these were the sounds and curses I uttered as the 14th card (and first card revealed) of the NBA’s 2016 Draft Lottery was turned over to reveal the Chicago Bulls logo last night.


Courtesy: USA Today Sports The order by odds of the NBA lottery teams wound up being the final order for the first time in lottery history.

Courtesy: USA Today Sports
The order by odds of the NBA lottery teams wound up being the final order for the first time in lottery history.

Check my twitter timeline,though. Like a good, Chicago sports fan with lowered expectations, I knew the Bulls would end up with the 14th pick due to their NBA purgatory-worthy amount of wins and loss this past season. But a player can dream, right? It’s the lottery, you got to be in it to win it and for better or worse (or anticlimactic) the Bulls were in it.

All I ask is where was David Stern when Jerry Reinsdorf could have used him? I’ve had visions of David and Jerry holding clandestine meetings in the past, exchanging secret handshakes and laughing over snifters of brandy like the masters of the sports universe they are —  Adam Silver doesn’t have the stripes needed for Jerry to give him the Stone Cutter shake, let alone speak to him in hallway during recess of the owner’s meetings at the Orlando Marriott. Damn. Now the Bulls have to suffer further, the sands of time have slipped out of our control.

Oh well… I can at least separate myself from fandom temporarily and apply the old GM cap to my noggin. In that vein, here is my list of the top five players I’d select in the upcoming NBA Draft based on their potential future.

  1. Ben Simmons

Hate if you want to (though D & D intern Kevin will likely beat you to that punch) but, Simmons talents dictate his floor is to become just a good NBA player. Best case scenario (his ceiling) he’ll become a top 10 NBA player in five years.

He can learn to become a better shooter. But a 6’10 rookie with elite passing skills and a passion to rebound is not a player you want pass up. Oh yea, plus he can dribble his ass off for a big and run the damn floor. Lack of motor issues may be due to Simmons having to play in college when he probably didn’t want to; at a football school for a bad coach. He may become a superior Robin rather than a real good Batman. I could live with that.

2. Brandon Ingram

Ingram played against better competition than Simmons; he is a better shooter and defender. I’d still go with Simmons first. His size and his ability to move at said size just entices me more. Ingram was easily well coached and I think he can become a good NBA player, not sure if he’ll ever become a legit star. Definitely needs to add weight, but we’ve seen Kevin Durant get his shots off while having a slender frame.

3. Dragan Bender

Hey I’m swinging for the damn fences. I know you’re thinking about Darko Milicic or Nikoloz Tskitishvili, but I’m looking for Godzingis (Kristaps Porzingis). Now I have not seen a ton of tape on Bender so don’t even get me to lying. However the NBA is a lot more stretch-4 player friendly than when I was a kid, see players like Derrick Mckey and Josh Smith.

As far as the team picking 3rd the Boston Celtics have guards. Isaiah Thomas is a true dynamo. I’m not big on tiny point guards, but he makes my feelings moot. Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart are okay, if you believe Jamal Murray or Buddy Hield are going to be really good players you should choose one. I wouldn’t take Kris Dunn with how well Thomas has played for Brad Stevens.

Bender may not become Porzingis, but do you want to look like every other team that had a chance to draft Porzingis after Minnesota drafted Karl Anthony Towns?

4. Jamal Murray

I was impressed with his play for the Canadian National team; the kid had guts and balled out. I could have easily taken Buddy Hield here, but to make myself feel better I’ll act as if Buddy’s age makes much of a difference right now, sure when he is close to 30 it will matter, but today Buddy is still spry.

I think Murray has more upside than Hield and that could become a terrible assumption. Murray had to play off the ball at Kentucky since Tyler Ulis ran the point. It will be interesting to see his game progress if he has the chance to be a primary ball handler in the pros.

Phoenix already has Bledsoe, Knight & sweet shooting Devin Booker so they may take a big. If Bender is still on the board this is where he goes off. But, a future backcourt of Murray and Booker could have a little splish on it, not splash, but some splish.

5. Buddy Hield

Nice fit here for all you hateful ageist out there, for shame. Minnesota could move this pick to bring in a good veteran player to infuse with their premium youth talent.

The Timberwolves need a big to go along with Karl Anthony Towns, mind you I’m a Gorgui Dieng guy (damn you for missing out on Gorgui, Rudy Gobert & Mason Plumlee Bulls, f’in Tony Snell). With Hield the Timberwolves get instant offense and help spreading the floor in the starting five or off the bench. He’ll be a rookie but he should be a much more mature player than a one-and-done.

If Lavine never figures it out and Hield could be a nice combo guard to pair with future stars Towns and Wiggins.

Follow Ken on Twitter @ThatsDavis, “The D and Davis Show” on Twitter @DAndDavisShow and Regal Radio @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio

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