lottery_2

Countdown to Lottery Day

The Power Ball is a fascinating phenomenon. A $1 investment that could spell a dramatic change in your life. Well worth it, right? Once the pot hits $250 million dollars, I’ll admit to picking up a ticket for the hell of it every now and again. Why not? With the ticket in hand, I sometimes find myself going into a 60-second trance where I ponder what I would do with $250 million. Buy a gigantic house? Start a scholarship fund? Buy a collection of Ernest DVD’s? Heck, make a few good investments and eventually buy the Wolves and relocate them to Bora Bora and sign the native women as free agents just for my own amusement? Why not? What is unusual about this brief 60-second daydream is after about second 40 I start to truly believe I have the money, if only for a brief moment. Then I snap back into reality, and obviously don’t even win my $1 investment back since, well, the odds are about 1 in 1 billion. I should have known. We should have known. Can I have my money back, or swap it out for one of those new Mountain Dew flavors or something?

This Power Ball Phenomenon is very applicable to Wolves fans. For the past several years, we have clung onto to some odd hope that we would actually win the draft lottery, often times believing it for weeks on end. Then, we act shocked when we move back 3 spots and our world comes crumbling down. It happened even when we were 6th or 7th to last. This year is no different. It doesn’t matter how many years in a row we lose, the odds of picking 3-5 are always much higher than picking 1-2. It’s a sad and simple reality. The odds are so unfavorable that the Twolves Blog staff collectively ran Chad Ford’s ESPN Draft Lottery simulator a total of 1000 times (not a typo, we seriously did it, apparently so we could see gasp in disbelief if our output was as high as 1% off in any area). We did it last year too, but a bit differently this time around. We will get into the results below the fold, as well as a look at some draft day history. CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE.

First let’s take a look at the Draft Simulator results.  While the % chance of securing a top 2 pick sounds nice at 38.7%, the reverse looks even more terrifying. For pick 3-5, we are looking at an astounding 61.3%. To those following at home, this is not a good thing. At all. In fact, in terms of lottery winners, the bottom two teams have only won the lottery 4 times in the past 14 years, which is somewhat on par statistically. The Wolves themselves have never won, but did win something in 2008 by getting the third selection via the lottery drawing.

Below is a table representing the 4 TwolvesBlog staffers’ simulated lottery results after spinning the Chad Ford lotto simulator way too many times. The true odds are also shown in the table so you can further enhance your current state of depression:

 



COLLEGE WOLF:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Real Odds 19.9% 18.8% 17.1% 31.9% 12.3%
Results 38 61 42 76 21
Sim Odds 15.20% 24.40% 16.80% 30.40% 8.40%
ROUNDHOUSE:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Real Odds 19.9% 18.8% 17.1% 31.9% 12.3%
Results 42 51 56 63 38
Sim Odds 16.80% 20.40% 22.40% 25.20% 15.20%
DEROK:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Real Odds 19.9% 18.8% 17.1% 31.9% 12.3%
Results 46 51 37 88 28
Sim Odds 18.40% 20.40% 14.80% 35.20% 11.20%
WALLYWORLD:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Real Odds 19.9% 18.8% 17.1% 31.9% 12.3%
Results 41 65 27 90 27
Sim Odds 16.40% 26.00% 10.80% 36.00% 10.80%

 

So, in other words, I am not a quality lucky charm and should not partake in the lottery festivities this year (although I did score highest for #2).  Derek? Perhaps he should join the Mascot Challenge as a triple threat addition. Good work.

I don’t think the above needs any extended analysis, because the results aren’t a real shocker. But it does reinforce the somewhat decent odds of:

1. Landing the 2nd Pick and Evan Turner.

2. Landing the 4th pick (not 3rd) and what would likely be DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors, and the agonizing reality that we will have to give up a boatload to move up.

Isn’t it kind of twisted that, in essence, the entire future of the organization rests upon the events of next Tuesday? We can either get pick 1-2 and celebrate with multiple cervezas by adding a potential type A guy to our current core. Or we can once again get the shaft and have to give up one of our key guys and change in order to move up 1-2 spots. Tuesday is arguably the most important day this franchise has ever had given the overall implications for the future of the team. No matter how you put it, the record doesn’t improve much with Turner leading the team without, say, Al or Love helping him out after we traded one of them to move up.

So say we “luck” into pick 3, 4 or 5 and stand pat? Surely there have been some impact players drafted in those spots in the past few years, right? Didn’t several team pass on Chris Paul?  Sometimes, simplicity is key for at least a directional view of how the draft could shape out. Here are picks 3-5 in the past several drafts with a 1-2 word analysis following:

2009- Harden, Evans, Rubio – Potentially great

2008 – Mayo, Westbrook, Love – Fairly decent

2007 – Horford, Conley, Green – Role Players

2006 – Morrison, Tyrus Thomas, Shelden Williams – Ugly. Literally.

2005 – D. Williams, Chris Paul, Felton – Amazing

2004 – Ben Gordon, Livingston, Devin Harris – Ok

2003 – Anthony, Bosh, Wade – Fluke

2002 – Dunleavy, Gooden, Tskitishvili – Ha

You get the idea. Some great names in there, but also several disasters, and even more Type B or C role players. The draft in itself is a crap shoot of course, but I’m not sure Cousins or Favors can develop into type-A’s at this point. It seems crucial to move up to 2 (no one trades the #1 pick in this league). I suppose putting the cart before the horse is a moot point now, so let’s cross that bridge if we have to.

But what about our other first rounders? Surely we can identify a sleeper there? Let’s go year by year again, this time looking at picks 16 and 23 respectively:

2009 – James Johnson, Omri Casspi

2008 – Mareesse Speights, Kosta Koufos

2007 – Nick Young, Wilson Chandler

2006 – Rodney Carney, Josh Boone

2005 – Joey Graham, Francisco Garcia

2004 – Kirk Snyder, Sergei Monia

2003 – Troy Bell, Travis Outlaw

2002 – Jiri Welsch, Tayshaun Prince

Some solid role players in there, but again no type-A’s. But given the current state of the roster, nothing to sneeze at in terms of the type of guys we would expect to add with a pick in that range. Strangely enough, the players picked at 23 seem to be a more successful group than those picked at 16. Is it because these guys come from lower profile programs? Not as much hype surrounding these “riskier selections.” Probably a major factor. I would hate to see Kahn trade the #23 for cash, which I have an eerie feeling might happen. If anything, I’d love him to package the two and move up a bit, if any team is stupid enough to do it.

This draft is likely the only way to get a type-A guy in Target Center next season, and time is of the essence. Maybe, just maybe, this will be our year. For now, let’s patiently await who will be selected to be our lucky mascot. They may be our only hope.

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