The biggest night of the offseason for the Denver Nuggets may already be here with the NBA Draft Lottery set to determine their draft position and that all of the non-playoff teams on Tuesday night. The fate and future of all these teams will change with a single bounce of a ping pong ball.
Powerball for NBA franchises, better known as the NBA draft lottery, has been a yearly tradition since 1985. Although no one is set to win hundreds of millions of dollars like the Powerball lottery, the life of a NBA franchise will change fast if the team wins the chance to pick in the top three. The talent available in this draft could easily set them on a crash course for the Larry O’Brien Trophy right away.
The Denver Nuggets are about two key pieces from being a true contender in my opinion. Getting the right to draft an Andrew Wiggins-type player could easily break the barrier and bring them into the contender realm of NBA teams. On top of that, this year’s draft is stacked with players that have potential to be a franchise-changing star, from Wiggins to Aaron Gordon to Julius Randle to Jabari Parker on down. So, the Nuggets would the option to fill any need they have with a top-three pick.
The Nuggets’ odds get a little boost due to the Carmelo Anthony trade bringing back the New York Knicks’ first-round pick (and therefore the Knicks’ ping pong balls) to Denver. The combined odds mean the Nuggets have an astronomical chance of 1.5 percent of their ping pong ball being drawn for the first pick. I guess that’s astronomical compared to the odds of winning Powerball: 1 in 175 million.
Having that ping pong ball drawn would feel like hitting the Powerball for the Nuggets franchise and its fans. With a draft history that includes picking Raef LaFrentz at No. 3 and Nikoloz Tskitishvili at No. 5, the Nuggets haven’t been the most blessed franchise draft wise. In addition the Nuggets have NEVER moved up in the draft lottery before, and have NEVER picked No. 1 overall in the history of the team.
I’m not spoiled though. If the odds of winning the second pick at 1.78 percent or winning the third pick at 2.16 percent (according to Nuggets.com) play out in our favor, then I’d be happy to shut my mouth and walk away with my consolation prize. If they do move into a top-three slot, the Nuggets would be the fourth team in lottery history to jump from a double-digit first-round pick (slotted 10th or below before the lottery) into the top three.
So, don’t mind me for the next 30 or so hours until we know who has the first pick. I’ll just be over here picking four-leaf clovers, rubbing Buddha’s belly, finding horseshoes, splitting wishbones, looking up and down for shooting stars, and I’ll have my fingers crossed the WHOLE time.