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Nets Fan

Blueprint for Brooklyn Nets to Rebuild Via NBA Trade Market posted by Nets Fan

10-21 start, a disappointing 44-win finish and a second-round playoff loss bookended a discouraging season by management's standards. Now it seems as if general manager Billy King is looking to reconstruct his roster.

So, what does a team that pays a bigger luxury tax than any other do when its season starts to implode? It begins to prioritize the money just a little bit more. And there's nothing wrong with that.

You can't blame an owner who wants to spend when he wins but doesn't when he loses. Actually, there are advantages to keeping salary lower on unsuccessful teams, considering that getting below the luxury tax for a season helps you avoid paying a repeater tax in future years.

The Nets are in a unique situation: Most of the time, if an older team is underperforming and wants to deal away some of its bigger contracts, it'll look for young talent around which it can build.

The NBA's current climate promotes a sort of break-it-down-and-start-over environment for expensive teams that can't seem to find success. Except there is one problem which is specific to the Nets: The team doesn't have any valuable draft picks at any point in the near future.

We're talking nothing. Zilch.

Brooklyn could go five straight years—after sending its first-rounder to the Celtics this past summer—without selecting with its own first-round pick. 

Brooklyn may be four under .500 right now, but the schedule is in one of its lighter periods, starting with Sunday's home game against the Detroit Pistons, which the Nets won 110-105. Tuesday, the Nets host the

Continue reading "Blueprint for Brooklyn Nets to Rebuild ..."

Clippers Fan

Clippers continue to struggle on the road with loss to Atlanta posted by Clippers Fan

The Clippers lost their fifth straight road game Tuesday, falling 107-104 to the Atlanta Hawks.

“I was hoping I was going to get to tell you something different tonight…We should’ve won this game.” Chris Paul told reporters.

The should-haves are piling up for the Clippers with only 29 games into the season, each night, a different culprit seemingly getting in the way of a breakthrough.

In Denver on Friday, the Clippers should’ve won, it was a total lack of defensive consistency. Tuesday, it was a combination of too much fouling and the inevitable fatigue from a treacherous stretch of games.

“It’s always something,” Blake Griffin said. “It’s something small, something that we have to change, something that we have to do better that ends up kind of messing us up.”

When Atlanta shot its first free throws in the 3rd quarter, the Clippers led, 71-62. Over the next 4:50, the Hawks went to the line a whopping 16 times, during a 16-8 run that zapped the Clippers of all their energy.

With the needle hovering around E, the Clipper bench put together another bad stretch – a 9-0 run by the Hawks to start the fourth – and the starters never fully recovered.

Down the stretch there were chances, the Matt Barnes jump ball he couldn’t win, the J.J. Redick free throw that rimmed out, the game-tying Blake Griffin 3-point try that hit the backboard and rim.

Despite all their close calls Coach Doc Rivers said he’s actually encouraged. He believes his team is close to breaking through.

Continue reading "Clippers continue to struggle on ..."

Nuggets Fan

Kenneth Faried grabs 25 rebounds, saves Nuggets from sloppy loss posted by Nuggets Fan

It's the little things Brian Shaw hates. The times when his players don't box out. The times when the ball bounces in front of them and they still don't go for the ball. The missed free throws. The shoddy defense.

He must have had a hard time sitting through Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Pepsi Center.

Coming off a blowout loss at Charlotte and a sloppy defeat at Brooklyn, the Nuggets returned home to host the Timberwolves, the worst team in the West, in a game that, on paper, should have been Denver's for the taking.

And until the fourth quarter, Kenneth Faried appeared to be the only Nuggets player who wanted it.

Faried, who turned in one of his finest showings of the season against Brooklyn three nights earlier, came back with an even better one Friday with 26 points and a career-high 25 rebounds while leading the Nuggets to a 106-102 victory over the Timberwolves.

"After 26 points," Shaw said, "I want him to understand that we didn't call plays for him. He got those 26 points going after offensive rebounds every single time.”

But with every one of his baskets, as well as those of his teammates, the Timberwolves seemed to have a response on the other end, ones that were often handed to them by the Nuggets' miscues.

Eighteen turnovers. Too many wide-open shots to count for Minnesota. Many poor decisions.

The Timberwolves (5-23) arrived in Denver sporting the worst defensive rating in the NBA, allowing 113 points per 100 possessions and letting opponents shoot a league-worst 49.8 percent from the field and 65.3 percent from within 5 feet of the rim.

Continue reading "Kenneth Faried grabs 25 rebounds, ..."


Nuggets Fan

Denver Nuggets Preseason Report 2014 posted by Nuggets Fan

Denver Nuggets could not make it to the playoffs, even with Juwan Howard as their lead scorer. Key players such as Nene Hilario, Junior Harrington, and Nikoloz Tskitishvili were sidelined, and the team overall was plagued with injuries. With 36 wins and 46 losses, the season was a disaster, yet there were moments of hope as certain players like Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson showed good improvement. Secondly, the team also had to adjust to a new coach in ten years, but the new system seems to have worked fine.   

According to certain experts, Denver Nuggets have 10% playoff odds and a 38-44 win/loss score, for 2014-2015. If the team keeps to the current muster there are good chances of reaching at least the playoffs, provided Javale McGee, Danillo Gallinari, and Ty Lawson keep good health. Acquiring Gary Harris by the draft will certainly help, as he will improve the defense, as well as the offense of the team. Additionally, getting back SG Arron Afflalo for the offseason is a worthwhile acquisition. Afflalo is a great shooter and he will strengthen the team's offense considerably.

The Nuggets have great forwards and they only need to keep healthy. Kenneth Faried will most probably be the starter, and also Danilo Galinari, if he is in good shape. The spots on the backcourt will be held by Nate Robinson, Aaron Brooks, and Randy Foye, while the F positions will be held by JJ Hickson and Wilson Chandler. However, depth of Denver mainly lies at center spot. The talented JaVale McGee, last season, participated in only five games, and whether he will be there throughout this season remains to be seen. Another inclusion, Jusuf Nurkic is expected to rotate with McGee and Mozgov. If Nurkic is able to deliver, Denver might get rid of McGee, who has a big amount contract.

Continue reading "Denver Nuggets Preseason Report 2014"


Ondre Baronette

MeloDrama finally to a head posted by Ondre Baronette

So your a newly married man, you were born in Brooklyn, and play for the Denver Nuggets. Now you want to force the organization you grew up rooting for, to gut thier roster, trade you to their team, and sign that big extension. It makes little sense, about as much sense as it makes signing that extension before their is a work stoppage. The owners and players will be battling for millions, and you and your New York wife and tv personality, La La Vazquez, will be spending millions, and staying in shape. It scares me to think that these players, all be it great, can dictate the direction of franchises, and send players away from where they play, and start a new path. Its hard to complain about the player the Knicks are getting back, but the entire process, made the Lebron James, "Decesion" pale in comparison. I'll continue to watch the team, and will always think about ways to upgrade, aka, "fix" the roster, that it's okay, but I am in the minority, when I say, I hope this trade gets pulled at the last minute, and the hammer is put away, until summer time. Lets go KnicksContinue reading "MeloDrama finally to a head"


john howard

New faces, early dividends posted by john howard

Dallas Mavericks' new players played well last night, beating the top team in the east in Orlando Magic.

Caron Butler and Brenden Haywood combined for 73 minutes 16 rebounds and 31 points.  A really good bigman and another scorer.  Good Job Dallas.

Another top team fell to newcomers.  Denver fell to Washington and their new lineup.  No Arenas, no Jamison, no Butler, no problem.  Josh Howard had 20 points in 23 minutes. More stunning was the 25 points the Wizards outscored the Nuggets in that 23 minutes.  Also, Al Thornton (just acquired from the Clippers) had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 block shots in 31 minutes. Oh I can't wait until Ilgauskas joins the group. 

Expect Thornton and Howard to play with a chip on their shoulders, showing the teams that didn't want them that they were wrong. The Wizards have players that are auditioning for the big free agent bucks.  They are going to be competitive for the rest of the season.

Continue reading "New faces, early dividends"


Scott Shepherd

That Guy Scored 50?? posted by Scott Shepherd

A few days ago I posted a blog listing the best scorers in the NBA today that have yet to have a 50-point scoring game.

While researching that post, I had an even more interesting idea for a post.

It’s a list of guys who, unbelievably, had a 50-point game in their career.

Since I was using www.basketball-reference.com to research the list, we’re only going back to the 1986-87 season. It’s far enough back in time to make some of the guys on the list obscure, but not far enough back to where you won’t remember them.

In no order, here are some of the more random players to score 50 points in an NBA game over the past 24 seasons.

Vernon Maxwell

Before Ron Artest and the “Malice at the Palace”, there was Vernon Maxwell running into the stands and punching a fan. While “Mad Max” will be remembered most for that, he also finds himself in elite company as one of only 60 players to score 50 or more points in a game since the start of the 1986-87 season.

Maxwell may be most remembered for his volatility, but at one point he was very dangerous on the court as well. He dropped for 30 points in the fourth quarter on January 26th, 1991 against the Cavs en route to a career-high 51 points.

Charles Smith

The former number three overall pick had a solid first few seasons with the Clippers, but a series of knee injuries cut his career short after a few other stops. For his career, he averaged 14.4 points per game.

Though he never developed into a big time NBA player, Smith dropped 52 on the Nuggets in December of 1990. It was the only time in his nine year career the Smith scored more than 40 points in a game.
Continue reading "That Guy Scored 50??"


Scott Shepherd

LeBron Makes His Only Trip to "The Garden" Tonight posted by Scott Shepherd

LeBron James makes his only trip to Madison Square Garden tonight.

 

For the past two seasons there has been plenty of talk about LeBron bolting his hometown of Cleveland for the bright lights of New York City.

 

In his career, LeBron has been fantastic at the Garden. He’s averaged 30.1 points, 6.6 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals in ten trips to The Garden. In his last two trips to the Mecca of Basketball, he’s had a 52-10-9 game and a 50-10-8 game.

 

Needless to say, all eyes will be on LeBron tonight to see if he can put on another show on Broadway.

 

Also on tap for tonight, the undefeated Nuggets make their only trip to Miami to take on Dwyane Wade and the Heat; the Pistons look to continue their dominance over the Magic in Orlando; and the Suns try to outrun the Celtics in Boston.

 

I’m gonna wear out my Directv remote trying to keep up with all the games tonight. Should be a great night of basketball.

 

Stay tuned…

Continue reading "LeBron Makes His Only Trip to "The Garden" Tonight"


Brad Hurt

Nuggets hand Grizzlies frustrating loss posted by Brad Hurt

There are no moral victories in the NBA.  Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said so himself.  If there were, Sunday's 133-123 loss at Denver would have qualified.  The 10-point final margin is a bit misleading because the Grizzlies led by five after the opening quarter and hung around for much of the game.  The Grizzlies put up 40 points in the first quarter on 77 percent shooting, which at least ensured they would not start out flat on the road as they did so many times last season.  They shot the ball extremely well, finishing at 57.8% for the game.  Offense is not the problem.  What has hurt them in their first two losses is turnovers.  They gave the ball away 20 times on Sunday and 14 times in their opener against Detroit, robbing themselves of chances to build runs.  With the way they are shooting the ball right now, if they maximized their possessions, they could be undefeated or at least have played Detroit closer.  Against the Nuggets, the Grizzlies just didn't play enough defense to win.  The Nuggets weren't a whole lot better defensively, but the extra possessions they got allowed them to stay just far enough ahead of the Grizzlies to claim the win.

There is always room for improvement, especially after a loss, but the Grizzlies are far ahead of where they usually are through the first few games of a season.  They showed flashes of greatness against the Nuggets and never hit an extended lull like they have in past road games.  They did fade in the third quarter, but just as they did so many times a year ago, they roared back in the fourth quarter to make a game of it.

Continue reading "Nuggets hand Grizzlies frustrating loss"

Scott Shepherd

Fun With Box Scores posted by Scott Shepherd

In the NBA these days, it seems like there is a stat for everything. We’ve got PER, offensive efficiency ratings, defensive efficiency rating, and so on and so on.

It seems like every team in the league now employs their own stat guru. And while I’m not one to question the use of all these new statistics to evaluate NBA players (I actually kinda like them), I’m old school.

 

To me, all the new stats in the world can’t tell the story of an NBA game as well as the good, old fashioned box score.

 

Therefore, I’m starting a new feature today called “Fun With Box Scores”.

 

Every Monday, I’ll be posting some of the more interesting things that jumped out at me from the previous week’s box scores.

 

This week, they are, in no particular order:

 

The Cavs were +38 when LeBron was on the floor this week. They were -27 when he wasn’t.

 

Meanwhile, the Cavs were -3 when Shaq was on the floor and +19 when he wasn’t.

 

Rasheed Wallace took 8 shots on Wednesday…all three pointers. For the week, ‘Sheed attempted 36 shots. 25 of them were three pointers.

 

Danilo Gallinari was 8-16 from deep on Saturday. He was 1-6 on two-point shots. For the week he was 18-36 on three-point shots and 4-11 on two-point attempts.

 

Carmelo Anthony had 113 points in 116 minutes this week.

 

Greg Oden had 26 points in 99 minutes. He also had 19 fouls.

 

Speaking of fouls, Hasheem Thabeet had 8 in 24 minutes of play this week. In his defense, he did have four blocks, giving him a nice one block for every two fouls ratio.

Continue reading "Fun With Box Scores"

Denver Nuggets News

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Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Judging who should and shouldn't have been asked to attend the NBA draft lottery (Ball Don't L

The NBA’s draft lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 19. Representatives of the 14 NBA teams that will take part in the lottery were announced on Thursday, and as tends to happen, several mistakes were made. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Minnesota Timberwolves Who they chose : Glen Taylor, owner Why : There are rumors that an ownership group cobbled together by both Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders and Kevin Garnett could try to purchase the team from Taylor, so this might be his last go-round in the lottery. Not because the Timberwolves will get any better any time soon, but because he could decide he’s had enough with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004. On the bright side, Taylor still carries that membership card from that Chipotle he likes outside the lottery studios and he’s about to get his 10th click and I think that means a free burrito but he’ll still have to pay extra for guacamole. Guacamole costs extra. Who they should have chosen : Kevin Garnett Why : The Wolves have the best odds at the top overall pick, and after they slide into the top three ESPN would ask Garnett to come over to the stage for the final unveiling and he’d decide to take a 45-minute shower first and make them wait and then the show would be delayed and then the entire ESPN schedule would be delayed and then your dumb roommate Phillip’s DVR of ‘First Take’would be screwed over the next day and it would be so sweet. New York Knicks Who they chose : Steve Mills, general manager. Why : Because Phil Jackson is a rich baby-boomer, and rich baby-boomers are notoriously averse to taking responsibility for the mess they’ve created. Come on, people now. Smile on your brother. Who they should have chosen : Don Henley, Eagle, former perm-haver . Why : Because the manager of the Eagles helped put Phil Jackson in charge of the Knicks, because the Knicks are the worst, and because the Eagles are the worst. It’ll be a nice distraction before Isiah Thomas represents the team at the 2016 lottery oh wait they traded away that pick for Andrea Bargnani my bad. Yeah, go with Henley. He’s down with the culture, there. Philadelphia 76ers Who they chose : Nerlens Noel, player. Why : Cool hair, better gap-tooth. Subject to be replaced pending league approval of the four-team deal that will send Noel to Oklahoma City for OKC’s 2021 first-round draft pick (top three protected, could turn over into an unprotected 2022 first-round pick if unclaimed in 2021). Who they should have chosen : Burt Young, famed star of stage and screen. Why : The man who played Paulie Pennino in all 12 ‘Rocky’features achieved Hollywood immortality by attempting to deny the titular character a chance at both the heavyweight championship and also the hand of the woman he loved. The character is loathsome and outside of an affinity for both canned beer and robots, devoid of any redeeming qualities. All he wanted was for all of Philadelphia to be as unhappy as him. This is right up the 76ers’alley. Los Angeles Lakers Who they chose : Byron Scott, head coach lol. Why : Because I need something to write about the next day. Who they should have chosen : Kobe Bryant, shooting guard. Why : Glen Taylor needs to be told he shouldn’t be celebrating too much, and that it’s just a top overall pick and nothing like FIVE RINGS. Steve Mills needs to be told that he doesn’t even have Phil Jackson’s secret-secret cell phone number and hell no Kobe’s not giving it to him. The guy from ‘Rocky’needs to be told that he’s not even making the top six names in the Leonard Maltin Game . And when the Lakers fall out of the top five and lose the pick to Philadelphia Kobe gets to say “good man I didn’t even want to play with some punk kid get me Caron Butler that’s someone I can go to war, with, man, I’m a WARRIOR MAMBA OUT.”Orlando Magic Who they chose : Alex Martins, CEO. Why : This is what CEOs get to do, I guess. Get on TV for a bit as your pick slides from fifth to eighth and all the free bobbleheads you can find and hey look here’s a picture of me and Dr. J. did you know Michael Jordan bet me fifty bucks I couldn’t knock in this 20-foot putt and I totally nailed, man, totally nailed it. Who they should have chosen : A selected fan participant, the winner of a “why I remain an Orlando Magic fan”essay contest. Why : Because it would have been hilarious to see which d-bag Laker fan the essay winner would sell his ticket to. Sacramento Kings Who they chose : Vlade Divac, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : Vlade Divac once played basketball for the Sacramento Kings. As such, he has earned the right to run the Sacramento Kings for five months. Who they should have chosen : Peja Stojakovic, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : You didn’t hear? Check your Twitter. Denver Nuggets Who they chose : Josh Kroenke, inheritor, bon vivant, and man about town. Why : He’s rich, he played basketball, and he can park wherever the hell he likes. Who they should have chosen : Ron, Wal-Mart greeter. Any Wal-Mart greeter. Why : Why? Have you seen those dudes? They are adorable . They don’t look at you funny when your only purchases include a George Jones CD, a three-pack of boxer shorts, some almonds and a tire gauge. He’ll always check your receipt when you get ice and it’s like come on Ron I’m not going to steal ice. Detroit Pistons Who they chose : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He’s tall, he’s respected, he is well-groomed and he is the general manager. He has perfect handshake timing, never lingers too long, and he understands that these days you prefer text to voicemail. Who they should have chosen : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He is the team’s general manager. Charlotte Hornets Who they chose : Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 500 jumpers a day. Why : It is May. It is warm. Michael Jordan has played 27 holes and made over 1200 untaxed bucks before you even decided to check if Lawrence Funderburke was just named president and maybe coach of the Sacramento Kings. Who they should have chosen : I guess we’re going all in on this whole stupid 1990s nostalgia thing so, I dunno, Larry Johnson? Why : LJ is pretty cool . If he’s unavailable we can just see who’s trending or who’s on Fallon’s show tonight so probably Lisa Turtle or the woman that sang ‘Zombie’or TV’s Wayne Knight or Joe Isuzu or ‘Air Bud’just kidding ‘Air Bud’is totally dead by now. Miami Heat Who they chose : Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat family member for life unless he wants to sign with another team . Why : Well, in 1993 Larry Johnson signed a massive 12-year, $84 million contract, the largest NBA deal of its time. When Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn declined to offer a similar deal to the clearly superior Mourning in 1995, Alonzo made it known that he would leave the Hornets without compensation in the summer of 1996. Looking to circle the wagons, Shinn and the Hornets dealt Alonzo to Miami just before the 1995-96 season for a package that included center Matt Geiger. Days later, Geiger would break Shaquille O’Neal’s thumb in an exhibition game on a hard foul, clearing the way for Penny Hardaway to have the best season of his career and reportedly creating some resentment from O’Neal’s camp as Hardaway was discussed amongst MVP candidates. There, that's what I paid attention to in the 1990s. Can I get on Fallon, now? Who they should have chosen : Dwyane Wade, superstar guard. Why : Wade was the team’s representative in 2008 when the squad grabbed the second round pick, wasted it on two crummy seasons of Michael Beasley, then traded Beasley for cap space that was used on signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Let’s fail upward all over again, Miami! Indiana Pacers Who they chose : Larry Bird, three-time three-point shootout champion, 1979 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament runner-up. Why : Larry Bird demands that you remain accountable for your organization’s actions, even if bad luck put you an undesirable place, and he’s not going to shirk away from responsibility in spite of potential embarrassment. Besides, there is no embarrassment in working to the best of your abilities and putting in an honest effort even if the cards don’t come your way. He demands you sit up straight and make eye contact, and he’s going to cough loudly and ask to have a word after you tell the server you want yours prepared “medium well.”Who they should have chosen : Whoever the hell decided that our LGBT brothers and sisters can be discriminated against based solely on how their maker created them, and whoever the hell decided that you can’t buy beer on Sunday in Indiana. Why : It’s the same guy. Utah Jazz Who they chose : David Lindsey, general manager. Why : All-around good guy. Picked Tyler up at the airport when the kid was coming back from college and they sent me to Knoxville for some meeting that we could have done over the phone. Lent me a pair of dress shoes when Carol packed them in the wrong bag and I had to give a presentation right after getting off the airplane. Fixed a hitch in my swing. Who they should have chosen : You’re telling me there’s a better person to choose than David Lindsey? Why : Gave an absolute beaut of a toast at Michael’s wedding. Absolutely nailed the Gordon Proposal back in 2009, took the pressure of the whole damn department. His wife Erin really is great, gets along with Carol and isn’t like the rest of them. Never seen him get out of line with Ian at HR, though I don’t know how he keeps his patience with that dingbat. Makes more than most of us but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his Acura. Phoenix Suns Who they chose : Alex Len, center. Why : Nobody on the Phoenix Suns likes each other, save for the set of twins that allegedly like to slap the noise right out of your mouth . Who they should have chosen : Alice Cooper, singer of ‘Clones (We’re All),’not really named “Alice.”Why : America needs to be reminded that you can still retire to a sober life in Arizona, play golf all day, and still be the best. Oklahoma City Thunder Who they chose : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on Alex Len. Who they should have chosen : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on the guy from Price-Waterhouse. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Judging who should and shouldn't have been asked to attend the NBA draft lottery (Ball Don't L

The NBA’s draft lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 19. Representatives of the 14 NBA teams that will take part in the lottery were announced on Thursday, and as tends to happen, several mistakes were made. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Minnesota Timberwolves Who they chose : Glen Taylor, owner Why : There are rumors that an ownership group cobbled together by both Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders and Kevin Garnett could try to purchase the team from Taylor, so this might be his last go-round in the lottery. Not because the Timberwolves will get any better any time soon, but because he could decide he’s had enough with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004. On the bright side, Taylor still carries that membership card from that Chipotle he likes outside the lottery studios and he’s about to get his 10th click and I think that means a free burrito but he’ll still have to pay extra for guacamole. Guacamole costs extra. Who they should have chosen : Kevin Garnett Why : The Wolves have the best odds at the top overall pick, and after they slide into the top three ESPN would ask Garnett to come over to the stage for the final unveiling and he’d decide to take a 45-minute shower first and make them wait and then the show would be delayed and then the entire ESPN schedule would be delayed and then your dumb roommate Phillip’s DVR of ‘First Take’would be screwed over the next day and it would be so sweet. New York Knicks Who they chose : Steve Mills, general manager. Why : Because Phil Jackson is a rich baby-boomer, and rich baby-boomers are notoriously averse to taking responsibility for the mess they’ve created. Come on, people now. Smile on your brother. Who they should have chosen : Don Henley, Eagle, former perm-haver . Why : Because the manager of the Eagles helped put Phil Jackson in charge of the Knicks, because the Knicks are the worst, and because the Eagles are the worst. It’ll be a nice distraction before Isiah Thomas represents the team at the 2016 lottery oh wait they traded away that pick for Andrea Bargnani my bad. Yeah, go with Henley. He’s down with the culture, there. Philadelphia 76ers Who they chose : Nerlens Noel, player. Why : Cool hair, better gap-tooth. Subject to be replaced pending league approval of the four-team deal that will send Noel to Oklahoma City for OKC’s 2021 first-round draft pick (top three protected, could turn over into an unprotected 2022 first-round pick if unclaimed in 2021). Who they should have chosen : Burt Young, famed star of stage and screen. Why : The man who played Paulie Pennino in all 12 ‘Rocky’features achieved Hollywood immortality by attempting to deny the titular character a chance at both the heavyweight championship and also the hand of the woman he loved. The character is loathsome and outside of an affinity for both canned beer and robots, devoid of any redeeming qualities. All he wanted was for all of Philadelphia to be as unhappy as him. This is right up the 76ers’alley. Los Angeles Lakers Who they chose : Byron Scott, head coach lol. Why : Because I need something to write about the next day. Who they should have chosen : Kobe Bryant, shooting guard. Why : Glen Taylor needs to be told he shouldn’t be celebrating too much, and that it’s just a top overall pick and nothing like FIVE RINGS. Steve Mills needs to be told that he doesn’t even have Phil Jackson’s secret-secret cell phone number and hell no Kobe’s not giving it to him. The guy from ‘Rocky’needs to be told that he’s not even making the top six names in the Leonard Maltin Game . And when the Lakers fall out of the top five and lose the pick to Philadelphia Kobe gets to say “good man I didn’t even want to play with some punk kid get me Caron Butler that’s someone I can go to war, with, man, I’m a WARRIOR MAMBA OUT.”Orlando Magic Who they chose : Alex Martins, CEO. Why : This is what CEOs get to do, I guess. Get on TV for a bit as your pick slides from fifth to eighth and all the free bobbleheads you can find and hey look here’s a picture of me and Dr. J. did you know Michael Jordan bet me fifty bucks I couldn’t knock in this 20-foot putt and I totally nailed, man, totally nailed it. Who they should have chosen : A selected fan participant, the winner of a “why I remain an Orlando Magic fan”essay contest. Why : Because it would have been hilarious to see which d-bag Laker fan the essay winner would sell his ticket to. Sacramento Kings Who they chose : Vlade Divac, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : Vlade Divac once played basketball for the Sacramento Kings. As such, he has earned the right to run the Sacramento Kings for five months. Who they should have chosen : Peja Stojakovic, President of the Sacramento Kings and maybe coach. Why : You didn’t hear? Check your Twitter. Denver Nuggets Who they chose : Josh Kroenke, inheritor, bon vivant, and man about town. Why : He’s rich, he played basketball, and he can park wherever the hell he likes. Who they should have chosen : Ron, Wal-Mart greeter. Any Wal-Mart greeter. Why : Why? Have you seen those dudes? They are adorable . They don’t look at you funny when your only purchases include a George Jones CD, a three-pack of boxer shorts, some almonds and a tire gauge. He’ll always check your receipt when you get ice andit’s like come on Ron I’m not going to steal ice. Detroit Pistons Who they chose : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He’s tall, he’s respected, he is well-groomed and he is the general manager. He has perfect handshake timing, never lingers too long, and he understands that these days you prefer text to voicemail. Who they should have chosen : Jeff Bower, general manager. Why : He is the team’s general manager. Charlotte Hornets Who they chose : Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 500 jumpers a day. Why : It is May. It is warm. Michael Jordan has played 27 holes and made over 1200 untaxed bucks before you even decided to check if Lawrence Funderburke was just named president and maybe coach of the Sacramento Kings. Who they should have chosen : I guess we’re going all in on this whole stupid 1990s nostalgia thing so, I dunno, Larry Johnson? Why : LJ is pretty cool . If he’s unavailable we can just see who’s trending or who’s on Fallon’s show tonight so probably Lisa Turtle or the woman that sang ‘Zombie’or TV’s Wayne Knight or Joe Isuzu or ‘Air Bud’just kidding ‘Air Bud’is totally dead by now. Miami Heat Who they chose : Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat family member for life unless he wants to sign with another team . Why : Well, in 1993 Larry Johnson signed a massive 12-year, $84 million contract, the largest NBA deal of its time. When Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn declined to offer a similar deal to the clearly superior Mourning in 1995, Alonzo made it known that he would leave the Hornets without compensation in the summer of 1996. Looking to circle the wagons, Shinn and the Hornets dealt Alonzo to Miami just before the 1995-96 season for a package that included center Matt Geiger. Days later, Geiger would break Shaquille O’Neal’s thumb in an exhibition game on a hard foul, clearing the way for Penny Hardaway to have the best season of his career and reportedly creating some resentment from O’Neal’s camp as Hardaway was discussed amongst MVP candidates. There, that's what I paid attention to in the 1990s. Can I get on Fallon, now? Who they should have chosen : Dwyane Wade, superstar guard. Why : Wade was the team’s representative in 2008 when the squad grabbed the second round pick, wasted it on two crummy seasons of Michael Beasley, then traded Beasley for cap space that was used on signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Let’s fail upward all over again, Miami! Indiana Pacers Who they chose : Larry Bird, three-time three-point shootout champion, 1979 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament runner-up. Why : Larry Bird demands that you remain accountable for your organization’s actions, even if bad luck put you an undesirable place, and he’s not going to shirk away from responsibility in spite of potential embarrassment. Besides, there is no embarrassment in working to the best of your abilities and putting in an honest effort even if the cards don’t come your way. He demands you sit up straight and make eye contact, and he’s going to cough loudly and ask to have a word after you tell the server you want yours prepared “medium well.”Who they should have chosen : Whoever the hell decided that our LGBT brothers and sisters can be discriminated against based solely on how their maker created them, and whoever the hell decided that you can’t buy beer on Sunday in Indiana. Why : It’s the same guy. Utah Jazz Who they chose : David Lindsey, general manager. Why : All-around good guy. Picked Tyler up at the airport when the kid was coming back from college and they sent me to Knoxville for some meeting that we could have done over the phone. Lent me a pair of dress shoes when Carol packed them in the wrong bag and I had to give a presentation right after getting off the airplane. Fixed a hitch in my swing. Who they should have chosen : You’re telling me there’s a better person to choose than David Lindsey? Why : Gave an absolute beaut of a toast at Michael’s wedding. Absolutely nailed the Gordon Proposal back in 2009, took the pressure of the whole damn department. His wife Erin really is great, gets along with Carol and isn’t like the rest of them. Never seen him get out of line with Ian at HR, though I don’t know how he keeps his patience with that dingbat. Makes more than most of us but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his Acura. Phoenix Suns Who they chose : Alex Len, center. Why : Nobody on the Phoenix Suns likes each other, save for the set of twins that allegedly like to slap the noise right out of your mouth . Who they should have chosen : Alice Cooper, singer of ‘Clones (We’re All),’not really named “Alice.”Why : America needs to be reminded that you can still retire to a sober life in Arizona, play golf all day, and still be the best. Oklahoma City Thunder Who they chose : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on Alex Len. Who they should have chosen : Russell Westbrook, dunker. Why : Dude just dunked on the guy from Price-Waterhouse. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Minnesota Timberwolves win 2015 NBA draft lottery, Lakers leapfrog Knicks to No. 2 (Ball Don't

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the 2015 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, earning the right to make the first overall selection in the NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Timberwolves, who finished last season with a league-worst 16-66 record, entered the lottery with a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, the best odds among any of the 14 teams in the running. But actually coming away with the top spot is something of an upset — only three times in the previous 21 lotteries had the team that entered with the highest likelihood of taking the No. 1 spot actually come away with the first pick, and it hadn't happened since the Orlando Magic won the opportunity to select Dwight Howard back in 2004. "It's very important to us," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said after his team's lottery victory. "We have a very young team, and one more outstanding young man will really help us." Taylor demurred when asked which hole on the Minnesota roster he believed the No. 1 pick might fill. "We just want a young man that's got a great heart and a great mind," he said. Team president and head coach Flip Saunders, too, said there was not yet any consensus on which player the Wolves plan to take first overall: Flip adamant they haven't decided who they are taking No. 1. — Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 20, 2015 "We're in this for big stakes," Saunders said, according to The Associated Press . "The big thing about this is getting good talent that can blend together. This is another big step." All that "big" talk might betray Minnesota's likely path, as many observers expect the Wolves to look for size at No. 1 overall. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor profile as the top two big-man prospects in the draft, with Okafor considered the more refined offensive player when it comes to scoring and facilitating out of the low post, and some evaluators pegging Towns as the superior defensive player and thinking he might have the higher ceiling of the two. Whichever player Saunders and company identify as their preferred target, the fans assembled at Target Center on Tuesday night sure seemed thrilled by the opportunity to add this year's No. 1 pick to add to last year's No. 1 overall selection, Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, as well as Minnesota's 2014 first-rounder, the electric Zach LaVine, and passing-savant point guard Ricky Rubio — plus, we are contractually obligated to mention 2013 No. 1 choice Anthony Bennett — in a talented young core that may or may not get to learn under future Hall of Famer and Minnesota legend Kevin Garnett: . @TargetCenterMN as #1 pick is announced. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/gGsSwDPhjP — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) May 20, 2015 And, judging by the reaction of Saunders and his staff in the Minny war room, those fans aren't alone: We'll just let Flip and his staff sum up how excited we are about that No.1 spot... #NBADraftLottery #EyesOnTheRise https://t.co/Q3dfceFBsI — MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) May 20, 2015 The Los Angeles Lakers, who came into the lottery with an 11.9 percent chance of picking first, moved up from their fourth-place spot into the No. 2 slot in June's draft. In so doing, they will hang onto their 2015 pick, which could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers, by virtue of a pair of past trades involving L.A.'s '15 first-rounder. Now, not only do they keep their selection, but they'll have an even wider array of top-flight prospects from which to choose in making their pick. This result clearly pleased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was none too thrilled about having to suffer through an injury-plagued season and watch his once-proud franchise flounder with the likes of the also-rans down at the bottom of the standings in search of some lottery luck: We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 20, 2015 (Also, he made a poop joke.) With Bryant back in the fold for his 20th pro season, their 2014 lottery pick, power forward Julius Randle, healthy after suffering a fractured right tibia during his first NBA game, surprising All-Rookie First Team point guard Jordan Clarkson providing a jolt of youth and athleticism in the backcourt, and a boatload of money to spend in free agency, the Lakers' stay in the depths of the Western Conference's dungeon could be short-lived. The 76ers' own selection, which had a 15.6 percent shot of landing atop the draft board, slotted in at No. 3. Philadelphia will wind up making only its own pick in this year's draft, as both the Lakers and the Miami Heat (whose first-rounder would have landed in Pennsylvania had it fallen outside the top 10) held onto their protected picks. Despite their #OneSixEleven dreams failing to materialize, Philly fans seem psyched at the prospect of adding the No. 3 pick — perhaps a point guard, like Emmanuel Mudiay or Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, or a wing player like Duke's Justise Winslow — to a young core that already features a pair of highly touted bigs, 2013 first-rounder Nerlens Noel and 2014 first-rounder Joel Embiid: PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Vzc6ZC4PJf — Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) May 20, 2015 The New York Knicks entered the lottery with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, and a 55.8 percent chance of selecting in the top three. Instead, they dropped down to No. 4 when the Lakers rose up. They were the only one of the 14 teams in the lottery to fall below their initial odds in the final drawing. The response from Knicks fans, as you might expect, was disappointment : UGGGGGGGHHHHHH pic.twitter.com/s4RCFKjKeF — Desus Nice (@desusnice) May 20, 2015 Knicks Lottery viewing party reaction: pic.twitter.com/oHiR8zJlX5 — Abe Schwadron (@abe_squad) May 20, 2015 Judging by his response on the draft dais, that's precisely what Knicks general manager Steve Mills was feeling, too: The NEW YORK KNICKS have the 4th Pick… pic.twitter.com/5vgkjzhrr9 — Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 20, 2015 Yeah, that seems about right. (This is where we remind downtrodden Knicks fans that diamonds are often found outside the top three of the NBA draft, and that winding up with one of the draft's most highly regarded point guards, two-way perimeter players or even a defensive-minded big man like Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein might not be the worst thing in the world. Deep breaths, New York. Deep breaths.) Here's the full video of the pre-broadcast lottery drawing itself, in the event you still believe these things are rigged: The full first-round order is now set: 1. Minnesota Timberwolves 2. Los Angeles Lakers 3. Philadelphia 76ers 4. New York Knicks 5. Orlando Magic 6. Sacramento Kings 7. Denver Nuggets 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Charlotte Hornets 10. Miami Heat 11. Indiana Pacers 12. Utah Jazz 13. Phoenix Suns 14. Oklahoma City Thunder 15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets, in a pick-swap included in the Joe Johnson trade back in 2012 ) 16. Boston Celtics 17. Milwaukee Bucks 18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans, as part of last summer's Omer Asik trade) 19. Washington Wizards 20. Toronto Raptors 21. Dallas Mavericks 22. Chicago Bulls 23. Portland Trail Blazers 24. Cleveland Cavaliers 25. Memphis Grizzlies 26. San Antonio Spurs 27. Lakers (via Rockets, as part of last summer's Jeremy Lin trade) 28. Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the 2013 deal that allowed Doc Rivers to leave Boston to coach in L.A.) 29. Nets (via Hawks, on the other end of the Johnson pick swap) 30. Golden State Warriors The 2015 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 25, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. More NBA draft coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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