Stand on your head for one night because this is when everything gets flipped upside down so the NBA bottom feeders can plant the flag on a summit. Tuesday’s NBA Draft lottery is an especially important inflection point in NBA history. There won’t be any wavering over who will be the top pick in next month’s NBA Draft like there was in 2022. Victor Wembanyama has been the crown prince of the 2023 class since he strode into Las Vegas’ Dollar Loan Center and chewed up the G League Ignite. After his October performance, he was already the 76th-best player in the NBA 75. Every once-in-generation, a sublime prospect leaves so little doubt that the annual draft lottery is recognized as the seminal moment. 1985 when the Knicks earned the right to draft Patrick Ewing. In 1993, Shaq to Orlando only occurred because Orlando shocked the basketball world with a ping-pong prayer that was heard from above. In 2003, LeBron James nearly wound up in Memphis or Denver.
The narrative on the draft is written today, not in two months. The deeper you dive into the lottery, the thinner the odds get, but what’s more impossible between a 7-foot-3 Kevin Durant-Ralph Sampson hybrid or New Orleans salvaging this lost season with an improbable lottery surprise from the bottom (or top) of the pack?