TORONTO,ON–In an unfortunate turn of events, the Toronto Raptors not only lost the lottery, but dropped two spots to the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers, following a horrid season without Lebron James, won the lottery and will be rewarded with the number one overall pick.
The Raptors entered the night with the third worst record in the NBA, (22-60) and inversely, the third best chance of winning the lottery.
Instead, the Utah Jazz, with the New Jersey Nets’ pick, (from the Deron Williams trade,) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (from the Baron Davis-Mo Williams trade) improved on their standings and were rewarded with top three picks. Cleveland jumped from eight to one while the Jazz moved from six to three.
NBA Draft List:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from the Los Angeles Clippers)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Utah Jazz (from New Jersey)
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Washington Wizards
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Golden State Warriors
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
The Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards were the teams that were bumped in the draft order. Both teams have been pushed two spots (Toronto 3rd to 5th and Washington 4th to 6th) from their respective standings entering the lottery.
Raptors Draft Notes: Considering this is one of the weaker pool of players in recent draft classes, the Raptors may still have the opportunity to select their desired player with the fifth pick. Turkish big Enes Kanter, and point guards Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker may still be available. An unorthodox pick may see the Raptors go for Congolese born Bismack Biyombo, or Canadian Tristan Thompson.
For all you stats wizards out there, the Raptors actually had the best chance at landing the fifth pick despite being ranked as the third team in the lottery. The chance of the Raptors picking fifth was 26.5%.
In other news, Bryan Colangelo is expected to sign a two-year contract extension with a team option for a third year. These reports, according to multiple sources, come approximately two months after NPH wrote about a two-year extension being the logical option for the Raptors to pursue.
Follow NPH as the road to the June 23rd NBA draft has now been paved. NPH will have coverage of all Raptors’ happenings leading up to the draft.
Photo Courtesy: NBA.com, Frank Gunn/Canadian Press