There’s one word that will always be associated with the NBA Draft, and specifically, the NBA Draft Lottery — conspiracy.
Many people believe the NBA Draft is straight up rigged. Conspiracy theorists will point to the first year the lottery system was used as evidence. In 1985 the struggling New York Knicks got the No. 1 overall pick, which everyone knew they’d use on Patrick Ewing.
The Knicks turned things around in the decade and a half that followed, which the NBA would obviously be in favor of, given the huge New York market.
Conspiracy subscribers will also point to 2008 when the Chicago Bulls got the first pick to land Derrick Rose, another big market team in need of a star.
It’s impossible to prove that the NBA rigs the draft, but at the same time, it really wouldn’t be that shocking if it did.
That brings us to 2014 and the Los Angeles Lakers. We have another struggling big market franchise that has a decent mathematical chance of landing the No. 1 pick. The Lakers finished 2013-14 with the sixth worst record in the league, so even without the NBA helping, the team could get lucky and acquire the top spot.
Is the sport of basketball better if the Lakers are good? Some will definitely argue that point. But on the other side, people will argue that it’s good for power franchises to have down periods.
All we can do now is sit back and wait for May 20th. That’s the date of the draft lottery drawing, and the odds aren’t necessarily in the Lakers favor. Officially, they have a 6.3% chance of landing the No. 1 pick.