The deadline for declaring for the NBA draft is on April 26th, but Blake Griffin made up his mind awhile ago that he was declaring for the NBA. The NBA Draft Lottery isn't until May 19th, which of course leaves a ton of time for the non-playoff teams to sit and imagine what could be.
For Oklahoma City, it's the chance that a hometown hero will get to play in the Ford Center. It could mean the revival of a franchise and an explosion of ticket sales and merchandise sales. It could also mean the end to 4 consecutive lotteries.
For Sacramento, it's the chance to rebound after an awful season that saw them finish behind even the Washington Wizards, a team that played terribly for most of the season.
For the Clippers it's the chance to get a legitimate post scorer and rebounder, as well as a bonafide star on one of the world's biggest stages. The list could go on and on.
There's no doubt that a lot of Sooner fans would love to see Blake Griffin playing for the Thunder. It would be easy to see Blake Griffin play in the pros a stones throw from Norman. The Thunder are probably the team that would stand the most to gain from getting Griffin.
But it could get interesting. Blake Griffin will likely be taken #1 overall no matter who the team is that is drafting first. However, it is less than certain that the Sacramento Kings (worst record in the NBA) will be the team that will be in that position. Consider the following facts:
- No matter what combination, the top 3 teams "oddswise" have not taken the top 3 spots in the lottery since 1996.
- Since 1990, the team with the worst record in the NBA has only won the lottery three times (1990, 2003, 2004).
- Since 1990, a team has won the lottery eight times while having less than a 10% chance of winning the lottery.
- Last year, Chicago had a 1.7% chance of winning the lottery but still took home the top draft choice, Derrick Rose, and are now back in the playoffs.
Here's the odds for the 2009 NBA Draft Lottery: Sacramento 25%, Washington 17.8%, LA Clippers 17.7%, Oklahoma City 11.9%, Minnesota 7.6%, Memphis 7.5%, Golden State 4.3%, New York Knicks 2.8%, Toronto 1.7%, Milwaukee 1.0%, New Jersey 0.9%, Charlotte 0.7%, Indiana 0.6%, Phoenix 0.5%.
What we can say though, is that there is a pretty good chance Blake Griffin will be a King, Wizard, Clipper or Thunder (is that right? sounds weird). The four teams have a combined 72.4% chance of winning the lottery.
Later on, a scouting report on Blake Griffin and which teams he fits in with the best.