The 2014 NBA draft lottery takes place tonight and 14 teams will be eagerly hoping that the Ping-Pong balls fall their way and that they can use a high pick to help rebuild their struggling team.
We have a look at some of the lucky teams that have won the lottery before and what they did with the pick…
5. 2005- Milwaukee Bucks – 6.30% chance of winning
The Bucks are the leading candidate to snap up the first overall pick in this year’s draft after an historically bad season. However, back in 2005 they only had the sixth-worst record in the league and still managed to pick first. They used the pick on Andrew Bogut, who despite not producing as some might expect of a first overall pick, has certainly not been a bust. He is regarded as one of the best passing centers in the league. He was traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2012.
4. 2007 – Portland Trailblazers – 5.30% chance of winning
The Blazers boasted the sixth worst record in 2007 but somehow lucked their way into the number one pick. However, Portland made the wrong decision on draft day when they selected Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Oden has since struggled with a myriad of different injuries which caused him to dip out of the league and then back in again with the Miami Heat this season.
3. 2000- New Jersey Nets – 4.40% chance of winning
The Nets had the seventh worst record throughout the NBA in 2000 but the Ping-Pong balls fell their way and they were gifted the number one pick. They plumped for Kenyon Martin in the draft, which didn’t turn out quite how they had hoped. Despite a decent rookie year, Martin tailed off and has never been selected to an All-Star game. The Nets traded him to the Denver Nuggets in 2004 for three first-round picks.
2. 2008 – Chicago Bulls – 1.70% chance of winning
Probably the biggest overall winner from an NBA draft lottery perspective: The Bulls had only the ninth worst record in the league in 2008 but secured the number one pick and wisely used it on Derrick Rose. An MVP winner in 2011, Rose has been dogged with knee injury trouble in the past couple of years. However he is still a great player and if the Bulls can land a decent free agency signing, he might even find himself a championship winner.
1. 1993 – Orlando Magic – 1.52% chance of winning
The biggest statistical winner in the NBA draft lottery were the 1993 Orlando Magic. They finished that season with a 41-41 record, good enough for only the 11th worst record in the league. The Magic parlayed that stroke of good fortune into Chris Webber, who they immediately traded into three future first round picks. Orlando were then able to turn that into the core of their franchise and an NBA Finals appearance in 1995.