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Lottery Time: Find out who picks where so we can speculate who will pick whom

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As far as entertainment television goes, you’d have to be pretty die-hard to be psyched about tuning in to tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery selection special.

But I’m guessing some of you are. And so am I, so here’s the skinny.

At 7 tonight, about 30 minutes prior to tipoff of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between Paul Pierce’s Boston Celtics and Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic, 14 NBA executives will lock themselves in a room and await the bounce of the ping pong ball.

After months of speculation about what teams will pick where and, furthermore, which players those teams will take, we’ll have a picture of the upcoming NBA Draft (June 24) that’s a little more clear.

This should be especially interesting for KU fans, considering the fact that former Jayhawks very well could take up 2 of the 14 spots in this year’s lottery when the picks are made.

Junior center Cole Aldrich is almost certain to be a lottery pick. For months now — perhaps even years — Aldrich has been ranked in mock drafts across the web anywhere from No. 5 overall to No. 13. Very few mock drafts, if any, have had Aldrich out of the lottery.

Freshman forward Xavier Henry’s another story altogether, but the odds are good that he, too, could be taken in the draft’s first 14 selections. Henry, although still unpolished, showed enough during his only season at Kansas to wow NBA scouts. For starters, Henry’s got a sweet stroke from distance and an NBA-ready body that most players under the age of 20 just don’t have. There’s still plenty of work to be done here, with ball-handling, aggressiveness and creating his own shot among the top of the list of areas he needs to work on. But of the 30 NBA teams out there, at least half — and probably more — would gladly take Henry on their team and watch him develop those skills on their dime.

Senior point guard Sherron Collins is the only other Jayhawk eligible for this year’s draft but the chances of John Calipari staying at Kentucky for the rest of his career are greater than Collins cracking the lottery. Collins, it seems, will be a late-first or second-round selection.

So, with the stage set, here’s a look at some of the interesting facts about tonight’s lottery, which, in no small way, will determine the NBA futures of Aldrich and Henry.

• With a 12-70 record, the New Jersey Nets will have the most ping pong balls in the hopper, giving Jay Z’s squad the greatest percentage chance of landing the top pick. We all know that the team with the best odds, however, doesn’t always get the top pick. If you’re looking for a team that’s sweating right now, it’s the Nets. Because there’s only one outcome that can make tonight’s lottery draw a good one for the guys from Jersey.

• At 15-67, Minnesota has the second most ping pong balls in play tonight and the T’Wolves have a 39 percent chance of finishing in the No. 1 or No. 2 spots. Anything lower than that will probably be disappointing for the folks from Aldrich’s home state, but maybe not for Cole. After all, the further the Wolves fall down in the draft order the more likely it becomes that they would take Aldrich.

• Speaking of the T’Wolves, should they land the No. 1 overall pick, expect them to trade it. Last year the Wolves made noise in the draft by selecting three point guards — Spain’s Ricky Rubio, Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn and North Carolina’s Ty Lawson. They eventually traded Lawson to the Nuggets, but should Minnesota land the No. 1 overall pick, could they really take another point guard? If they stay in the pick, they’d probably have to because Kentucky’s John Wall has been the consensus No. 1 overall pick for months.

• Teams with former Jayhawks already in place who will be paying attention to tonight’s draw include: Memphis (Darrell Arthur), which likely will be in the 12-14 range; New Orleans (Julian Wright), which could crack the top 10; Indiana (Brandon Rush), which seems to be headed for the middle of the pack; and the lovable losers from L.A., the Los Angeles Clippers (Drew Gooden), who are probably thinking top-five would be a best-case scenario.

Again, it might not be the most entertaining thing on the tube tonight, but, from where I sit, I can’t imagine a much better TV evening than NBA Draft Lottery at 7 p.m. followed by Game 2 from Orlando, where Pierce’s Celtics look to take a 2-0 lead on the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Get some takeout and get comfortable.

Comments

slowplay 12 years ago

I don't see Henry as a lottery pick. More like late teens to early twenties. That said, I really don't watch the NBA much anymore. Didn't even realize the Magic were in the Conference Finals.

Queen_Krenda 12 years ago

Calipari has said he will be at Kentucky for hte remainder of his career.

KGphoto 12 years ago

Ha! That's the kiss of death, right there.

d_prowess 12 years ago

Slowplay, consider tuning in tonight to watch the Celtics against the Magic. The Celtics have playing inspired basketball and go against all the negative stereotypes that people have about the NBA (they play hard D, run offense, and hustle). Tonight should be really good too considering Orlando didn't shoot well in Game 1 and will come out playing hard too since they can't go down 0-2 at home.
Should be really fun and you can't beat cheering for KU's own, Paul Pierce!

Steve Brown 12 years ago

Queen he said he would be at KY for the rest of his KY career.

Hoping Nets get the 1st pick so Lebron, Wall and Quidd can go play house.

Scatterhawk 12 years ago

Right. The NBA is overflowing with Steve Nashes. You are being willfully ignorant. And picking on a 19 year old for not having a complete game is nonsense.

Salty as... well. I can't say that here.

Chris Shaw 12 years ago

How the heck did the Wizards get the first pick? I'm sure Agent Zero's leadership skills will be just that for John Wall..............Zero! What's the over/under on how fast Arenas is traded (Note: Arenas will never be traded because no owner will take on the dumbest contract in sports-111 million)? How pissed was the new Net's owner, Mikhail Prokhorov?

Matt Tait 12 years ago

All great points... I'm guessing that if Arenas is traded (which is probably right on the money) he'll be playing with LeBron somewhere next year.

Very interesting developments.

Sucks to be the Nets and have the worst record and get the third pick. But such is the NBA Lottery. You gotta love it!!!

Chris Shaw 12 years ago

I think the way the Lottery fell with Golden State dropping a few spots actually benefited Aldrich a great deal. I believe Golden State was slated with the 3rd or 4th best opportunity at the #1 pick and fell all the way to #6. You know Golden State was going to take Favor or Cousins so the fact that the Warriors fell all the way to #6 makes me believe even more that they will take Aldrich with the 6th pick.

They absolutely without question need a big guy on their roster. Right now they have Anthony Randolph, Vladamir Radmanovich (He plays like a SF), Anthony Tolliver, Ronny Turiaf, and Brandon Wright. You can't tell me right now that at least from a defensive perspective and Nellie ball that Aldrich isn't a perfect fit for that system. Aldrich will have to get in a little better shape, but he has an opportunity to be a Chris Kaman type of big man that can get up and down the floor. I think Golden State falling to #6 is a great sign for Aldrich and his career.

I think the #6, #7 (Detroit), #9 (Utah), and #10 (Indiana) picks would all be good fits for Aldrich. Just as long as Aldrich doesn't go to the Clippers at #8 I will be happy. Too much of that Clippers jinx over the years.

Detroit has Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villuaneva, Ben Wallace, and Chris Wilcox. Aldrich could definitely learn from some of these big guys and it would be good for him to learn from Wallace, Prince, and Hamilton. The only bad thing is possibly Dumars second guessing himself after the Darko failure.

Utah would be a great fit IMO because everybody knows that Utah was shorthanded at the center position in the playoffs. Okur and Kirilenko were hurt and besides Boozer and Milsap who are about as good of 4 men as there is in the league, Koufos and Fesenko are the only other centers. It just depends whether or not the Jazz think Koufos is going to develop as a center. If Sloan could deal with Osterstag and play him all those year, I would think Aldrich could find room in Sloan's rotation.

Indiana is such a young team and it just depends who O'Brien and Bird want to develop as their big men. They have Murphy, McRoberts, Hibbert, Foster, and Hansbrough. Actually, looking at that roster, I think Aldrich could definitely find a place in that roation.

New Orleans, Memphis, Toronto, and Houston round out the lottery.

KGphoto 12 years ago

I wouldn't mind too much if he went to the Clippers. If Blake stays healthy, they're actually pretty stacked. Besides I'm a bit of a Clip fan these days, as half there roster is made up of Big 12 cream, including Drew Gooden.

Big 12 on the Clips

Drew Gooden Blake Griffin DeAndre Jordan Brian Skinner Kareem Rush JamesOn Curry Cole Aldrich?

Hey, Camby can't play forever.

DevilHawk 12 years ago

Being drafted by the Clippers is something that I would wish on no player. Somehow, something will always go seriously wrong to destroy their season.

KGphoto 12 years ago

Oops. Camby to Portland.

Well, there you go. Plug in Cole.

Plus now they have room to go after a nice free agent this summer.

Chris Shaw 12 years ago

Looks like Chad Ford and I have something in common. Just in case the link doesn't work.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2010/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=MockDraft-100518

1) John Wall 2) Evan Turner 3) Derrick Favors 4) Wesley Johnson-I don't like this pick for Minnesota 5) Cousins-Kind of shocked to see Cousins fall to 5, but this would be a great get for the Kings 6) Cole Aldrich-Analysis: The Warriors need help in the middle. Aldrich, while not flashy, can provide rebounding, shot-blocking and a decent face-up game. The Warriors should have other options like Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis, but I think Aldrich is the leading candidate right now. 7)Al Farouq Aminu 8) Udoh 9) Greg Monroe 10) Ed Davis 11) Daniel Orton 12) Luke Babbitt 13) Avery Bradley-He must be having some amazing workouts 14) Hassan Whitehead 15) Gordon Hayward 16) Paul George 17) James Anderson 18) Eric Bledsoe 19) Xavier Henry-How sweet would it be to go Boston in this scenario-Great learning experience for him 20) Damian James 21) Donatas Motiejunas 22) Patrick Patterson 23) Kevin Seraphin 24) Quincy Pondexter 25) Craig Brackens 26) Soloman Alabi 27) Terrico White 28) Larry Sanders 29) Willie Warren 30) Keith Gallon

Chris Shaw 12 years ago

I saw this on a shiver thread this morning, but the story was by Chad Ford last week. Just when we all start doubting Collins just a tiny bit a nice article like this comes about.

Hey LJW, it sure would be cool to have an inside look or a story from one of Collins workouts. I don't know where he is working out, but it would be cool to have a diary of some sort following Collins during all of these workouts. Here is that article by Chad Ford:

"Collins is clearly undersized at 5-10½ in socks (though he'd argue he's a 6-footer in shoes). He has a super-thick frame which, at times during his college career, moved from thick to fat. But that's no longer the case. On first glance I thought Collins still needed to lose 15 pounds. Then he took off his shirt and showed off his washboard abs. He's not overweight. He's just built like a brick house.

I've seen Collins more than any player in this draft over the years, so I can't say I noticed anything new about his game. He continues to possess one of the best crossover dribbles in the draft. He's quick and powerful and can get his shot off against just about anyone. He's charismatic on the court and clearly a leader. And he still, even in a workout setting, sometimes tries to do too much. For every two good shots he takes, there's a bad one in there too.

When it got to the 3-on-3 games, no one was more competitive than Collins. He kept pushing and pushing guys and at the end of the morning, his team went an impressive 7-1. He would be a great energy point guard off the bench if he can handle not being the alpha dog on a team. But I'm not sure he knows anything but the alpha dog role."

Jonathan Allison 12 years ago

"He would be a great energy point guard off the bench if he can handle not being the alpha dog on a team. But I'm not sure he knows anything but the alpha dog role."

Chad Ford either didn't watch Collins in his freshman and sophomore years (hard not to remember the national championship game), or is confused because as soon as Collins comes in off the bench he immediately starts attacking. And not necessarily just putting up a lot of shots, but driving and dishing and creating for his teammates. He's a great player to have coming off of the bench and even when he's not putting up shots (aka alpha dog) he still controls the game with his ability to handle the ball and create.

7-1 in 3-on-3 during workouts is pretty well on par with what we know about Sherron. We all know how good Sherron Collins is. He's a proven winner, and some team is going to get an extremely talented point guard probably in the second round of the draft. He will be the steal of the draft this year.

97jhawk 12 years ago

"Again, it might not be the most entertaining thing on the tube tonight, but, from where I sit, I can’t imagine a much better TV evening than NBA Draft Lottery at 7 p.m. followed by Game 2 from Orlando"

Hmmm, I take it the Taitinator is not a fan of LOST. It's the penultimate episode dude!! Now that's entertainment! Also, I can tune into the NBA game, even in the finals, towards the middle of the 4th quarter for what seems to be the most entertaining part of the game.

Matt Tait 12 years ago

You got me. Wanted to get into that show but let too much time pass before I did. Hoping to get the entire series on DVD someday and plow through it that way.

Chris Shaw 12 years ago

Any consolation, I never got into Lost either.

Jonathan Allison 12 years ago

I hear it's a good show. never watched an episode.

truefan 12 years ago

That show is amazing...I can't wait for Sunday.

didjabuti 12 years ago

You know, I'm pretty sure all of the episodes are on Hulu right now. Just watch the pilot, and you'll want to watch the next episode just to figure out what's going on. Then the next, and the next and pretty soon you're hooked.

minnhawk84 12 years ago

"Lost" is based on Gilligan's Island.

The NBA is based on professional wrestling, until the playoffs when lazy rich guys finally start earning their pay.

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