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The first 14 picks of the 2011 NBA Draft will be determined by this drum. (photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty)
About this time every year, a handful of NBA teams start to dream big and an endless stream of “What if” scenarios start to play out for those teams’ fan bases. We’re not talking about a magical run through the postseason – at least not yet, anyway – but the NBA Draft Lottery. The annual event takes place this Tuesday (5 p.m., ESPN), and the Warriors will be represented by team owner Joe Lacob at the made-for-TV event.
With the 11th pre-lottery position, the Warriors have a 0.80 percent chance of winning the lottery and choosing first in next month’s NBA Draft. In addition, the team has a 2.90 percent shot at landing a top-three selection. For all of the ins and outs of the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery, check out our answers to some frequently asked questions about the lottery process.
In all likelihood, the Warriors will retain its position and get the 11th pick, but there is a precedent for moving up. In 1993, the Orlando Magic moved up from their 11th pre-lottery position and snagged the number one pick. Orlando selected Chris Webber in the ensuing draft and, lo and behold, shipped him to Golden State moments later. Only one other time in lottery history has the team in the 11th position not gone home with the 11th pick, and that came in 1999 when Toronto slipped to No. 12.
Warriors.com and the staffs of other lottery team Web sites recently shared their opinions on the upcoming lottery as it relates to their respective teams. View the Warriors’ content below and check out the rest of the lottery teams’ entries by clicking here.
Eight of the 1,000 combinations created by these balls will be assigned to the Warriors prior to the NBA Draft Lottery. (photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty)
Team Needs: The Warriors’ greatest needs involve depth and an interior presence. Even if Andris Biedrins returns to his double-double form from two years ago, the team still could benefit from another strong rebounder who provides a physical presence in the paint. Scoring points isn’t an issue with the Warriors, it’s keeping the opposition from doing so that has proved to be troublesome. Obtaining a player who can rebound and defend the rim, whether it’s his man or on help defense, should help the team’s overall defense and make the Warriors a playoff contender. Should a big man or two be obtained via free agency or a trade, expect the Warriors to use their pick on the best player available. Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Larry Riley is a big proponent of that strategy, and that would make even more sense with the team currently looking for a new head coach.
What Getting a Top 3 Pick Would Mean for the Warriors: It would be just another sign the organization is going in the right direction. The team’s ownership has guaranteed a playoff appearance next season and Assistant General Manager Bob Myers recently stated that the team is one or two players from being a perennial playoff contender. The addition of a top-three player to a core of Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Dorell Wright could certainly help the team get there. While trading down in the draft wouldn’t be a huge shock if it meant addressing a few of the team’s other needs, a more realistic scenario would involve the Warriors selecting an NBA-ready player as opposed to a prospect in need of more polishing.
Warriors Lottery Luck: The Warriors are about due for some good fortune in the NBA Draft Lottery. The team hasn’t moved up from its pre-lottery position since 1995, when they were awarded the first pick (Joe Smith) despite having the fifth-best odds to do so. Since then, Golden State has remained consistent with its pre-lottery position eight times and moved down five times. In his first year as Warriors owner, Joe Lacob will look to change the team’s lottery luck and bring home a top-three pick in his first appearance at the NBA Draft Lottery.
Find out about the needs of other teams in the Draft Lottery by clicking here and get full coverage of the Warriors in the lottery by clicking here.
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