Welcome to NBA Lottery Drawing Day, 2012. For Blazers fans this feels a little bit like coming home to work in your small-town Tastee-Freez a couple of years after you left for Yale on a full-ride scholarship. Whoa! What happened? You weren't supposed to end up back here. But heck, as long as you're dishing out soft-serve at $5.25 an hour you might as well have some fun doing it, right? So the 2012 Draft Lottery discussion is now open! Use this thread to work your way up to the Big Moment this afternoon.
Here are a couple of starter topics:
1. Back when the Blazers made the lottery on an annual basis I used to take the NBA to task each year for letting all 14 non-playoff teams get a shot at the #1 position. The chances are small, granted, but someday it's going to happen. There's no way Houston or Phoenix or (sadly) Portland should be getting the first pick this year--or even a Top 3 position--when teams like Charlotte and Washington need the help so badly. We'd all love to see the Blazers get Anthony Davis, but how would you feel as a Bobcats fan watching the draft's only consensus franchise player head to a team that's already way better than you? That shouldn't happen...not even in improbability land.
I believe in the lottery system, mind you. I just think it should have two tiers and two drawings. Teams 1-7 should draw for the top three positions. Teams 8-14 should draw in parallel for positions 8-10. A team could still make a nice jump in the standings. In fact you could even out the odds a little more than currently possible--putting the brakes on the tank--because teams aren't jumping so far. If a 14th team gets the 1st pick, that's a teeth-gnashing affair. It's also a reasonable incentive for a team not to worry too much about making the playoffs. If the 14th team gets promoted to the 8th pick, that's just a nice bonus. Few teams would celebrate missing the post-season for a chance to rise only 6 picks at most. Tanking wouldn't make a ton of sense unless you were right around that 7th-8th position break. If you're headed for the 13th-16th worst record in the league you have to work pretty hard to get down to 6th most years. That's just a different quality of bad. Right now your chances of #1 go up with every position you fall. With a two-tiered system they remain the same for most teams: zero unless you're really bad already.
I think it makes a ton of sense. It wouldn't be hard to implement either. Thoughts?
2. Go ahead and call your shot in this thread. Which pick or picks will the Blazers end up with tonight? How will it fall out. Also what will/should they do with each pick they get: keep it or trade it?
Enjoy the ramp up! We'll start a new open thread as the hour nears so stay with us all day for lottery fun!