May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) reacts after hitting the game winning shot against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft Lottery: A Deeper Look Into The 6th Lottery Spot

While nothing in the NBA Draft Lottery is guaranteed, odds are greatest that the Lakers fall in the 6th spot as opposed to any other selection. While it certainly isn’t the same amount of talent as the 6th pick as, say, the top 3, there is reason for Lakers fans to be optimistic if they wind up slotted sixth. The numbers and names behind the sixth pick aren’t nearly as frightening as some might think.

nba draft

First, let’s take a look at where teams that entered the draft lottery with the sixth best odds actually ended up picking. Since the newest and current format of the lottery was instituted in 1994, there have been 20 drafts. In those 20 drafts, the most often spot for a team with the 6th best odds entering the lottery is actually 7th (7 times), followed by 6th (5 times), with teams landing on the 2nd and 3rd picks twice each.


Now hold on, Lakers fans. I know I promised reason for optimism, and the first fact thrown at you is how teams actually pick lower than their projected pick. Bare with me. Previous odds show the Lakers getting the seventh pick. Well, who has been picked 7th in recent drafts? In order:


2013 – Ben McLemore
2012 – Harrison Barnes
2011 – Bismack Biyombo
2010 – Greg Monroe
2009 – Stephen Curry
2008 – Eric Gordon
2007 – Corey Brewer
2006 – Randy Foye
2005 – Charlie Villanueva
2004 – Luol Deng
2003 – Kirk Hinrich
2002 – Nene

Now, if that’s not a reason for optimism, then you should check your attitude. Of the 12 names listed above, you have a slew of great young talent in the first six picks, including Greg Monroe who the Lakers may be targeting this summer. Gordon (when healthy), Brewer, Foye, Hinrich, and Nene are great role players with flashes of brilliance, and Deng is arguably the best player out of them all.


Still think the Lakers are in trouble? Let’s say we get the 6th pick, our second most reoccurring scenario.


2013 – Nerlens Noel
2012 – Damian Lillard
2011 – Jan Vesely
2010 – Ekpe Udoh
2009 – Jonny Flynn*
2008 – Danilo Gallinari
2007 – Yi Jianlian
2006 – Brandon Roy
2005 – Martell Webster
2004 – Josh Childress
2003 – Chris Kaman
2002 – Dajuan Wagner

*David Kahn happened


There’s a significant difference in talent, but still talent to be had. Lillard, Galo (pre-injury), and Roy were all worthy of their early selections. Noel is still unproven, while and Webster, Childress, and Kaman all turned out to be solid role players. The percentages of busts are certainly higher, with Veasley, Udoh, Yi, and Wagner all sticking out like sore thumbs.


But the point remains: the Lakers can find talent in the 6th or 7th spots. Even our beloved Kobe Bryant was taken outside the top ten and at the end of the lottery. Kevin Love was the 5th pick. Joakim Noah was the 9th pick.


Don’t get me wrong, the number 1 pick is the place to be. The top 3 is still the goal. But let’s not fret if, after tomorrow night, the balls don’t bounce our way. Have faith in the Lakers front office, and in the luck of James Worthy and Jerry Buss…


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Tags: Los Angeles Lakers Lottery Nba Draft

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