The official results of the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery played out a lot different than the dress rehearsal, particularly more for the San Antonio Spurs than for any of the 14 other teams involved.
The way the ping-pong balls bounced when the results mattered resulted in the Spurs landing the No. 9 overall pick. San Antonio held the ninth-best odds, meaning there was no change in their position.
During the rehearsal, the Spurs jumped to the No. 1 overall pick, an outcome that had merely a 4.5 percent chance of occurring.
The top five of the rehearsal results featured the Spurs, the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, and Houston Rockets. The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to No. 6 while the Sacramento Kings were at No. 8.
It would have been a fascinating outcome for a team like the Spurs that made the play-in tournament to land the top pick. While the results are randomized, it could have shown the value of staying competitive instead of purposely tanking.
Had the Spurs landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, it'd be fascinating to think about the options at their disposal. They'd have their choice of any of the top prospects, whether they wanted Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, or a blockbuster trade.
Experiencing a significant jump in the NBA Draft order can change the fate of a franchise forever. The Kings were the top beneficiaries of positive movement — going from the seventh-best odds to selecting No. 4 overall. The Thunder were the only other team to move up multiple spots.
For any team to rise in the draft order unexpectedly, there have to be some disappointed teams that fall. Four teams ended up receiving a lower pick than what their odds were.
Right now, the early consensus for the Spurs with the No. 9 overall pick is to select Memphis center Jalen Duren. He's a high-flying, athletic big specializing in doing the dirty work for his team on both ends of the floor.