Every year, teams spend a majority of the 82-game NBA regular season fighting for a berth in the postseason. As time goes on, contenders emerge, pretenders are exposed and the worst-of-the-worst begin vying for something other than the playoffs: positioning in the draft.
And then the lottery comes about and those plans are ruined.
Regardless of how you feel about the lottery process, it’s one that shakes up the draft in unparalleled ways. This year, it vaulted the Cleveland Cavaliers from the team with the ninth-worst record to the No. 1 overall draft choice.
On top of changing the draft order, that type of movement significantly alters where specific prospects will come off the board. Everyone loves to use the term, “Reach,” but there comes a time in which finding a player that fits your directive matters more than that elusive upside talk.
For that reason, the following players will go earlier than projected.