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Thunder Among Lottery Winners, Pistons Slide to Losers

In sports there's always a winner and a loser, in the NBA Lottery there are multiple winners and losers after the ping pong balls settled into their spots.

The NBA Lottery brought luck, but it also brought despair for teams.

With their fates up to ping-pong balls, NBA teams hoped to hear their names called near the top of the draft order rather than the bottom.

With any draft or sport there are winners and losers, here are some from the 2022 Lottery:

Winners

Orlando Magic

Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic

The Magic needed, well some magic, after last season. They were on the unlucky end in the 2022 lottery slipping to No. 5 and ended up selecting Jalen Suggs, which paid off. More importantly, if there was the best time for the Magic to have the No. 1 pick it would be this year.

After big seasons from Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, and young talent, the Magic have the chance to add a team-altering talent to their lineup, which could vastly change the team's trajectory toward contenders.

However, the Magic do still have a decision to make between the three top prospects, but they also get the chance to set the tone of the draft.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey

The Thunder fell to No. 6 last season but got one of the steals of the draft in Josh Giddey who provided an immediate impact to the team. Entering Tuesday the Thunder had the fourth best odds at No. 1, and fell a spot short of the coveted pick entering at No. 2.

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On top of the second pick the Thunder have the No. 12 pick. With chances to add two elite prospects to a team already trending up could make the Thunder playoff contenders sooner rather than later.

The No. 2 pick has been kind to the franchise, the last time the organization had a No. 2 was in 2007 when the Supersonics selected a forward named Kevin Durant.

Losers

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers entered the lottery with the sixth-best odds at No. 1 and ended up with pick No. 7, which isn’t as bad as it could’ve been. But for a team who shipped off CJ McCollum and tried their hardest to tank for a better position at No. 7 isn’t ideal.

Through the lottery, the Blazers were hoping to retool quickly hoping for a top-5 pick to give Damian Lillard some help. The Blazers still have a chance to add pieces around Lillard in free agency or through trades, but their lottery pick doesn’t hold nearly as much weight as it could’ve.

Detroit Pistons

From third-best odds down to No. 5 hurts if you're a Detroit sports fan. A year after selecting Cade Cunningham at No. 1, the Pistons had a chance to pair him with a player like Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, or Jabari Smith. But now, those odds of grabbing one of them are slim to none.

With those three likely off the board at No. 5, the Pistons options are more open but another guard seems likely. While the Pistons can use any help they can, the No. 5 pick seems a long way away from where they could’ve made big strides in their long rebuild. 


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