Bucks stay in 10th spot
The Milwaukee Bucks did not gain any ground in the NBA’s draft lottery Tuesday night in Secaucus, N.J., but they didn’t lose any, either, and general manager John Hammond can live with that as the team moves forward toward the annual draft next month.
Going into the lottery, the Bucks held the 10th position in the first round of the June 25 draft and that was right where they were at the end of the proceedings Tuesday. The Bucks went into the lottery with a 1.0 percent chance of winning the first pick.
The good news for the Bucks was that they didn’t drop in the draft order, as they did in the last two lotteries. Last year, the Bucks dropped one spot and drafted eighth. Two years ago, the Bucks dropped three positions and drafted sixth.
In the end, it was an uneventful evening for the Bucks.
“But that’s OK,” said Hammond, who represented the team along with assistant general manager Jeff Weltman. “I look at it and say we didn’t win, we didn’t lose, we just held serve. I think that’s OK because the chance of us losing was greater than the chance of us winning.”
The Bucks are confident they can get a player who can help them with the 10th pick.
“No question whatsoever, we feel we’ll get a good player at 10,” Hammond said.
Had the Bucks gotten extremely lucky, they could have moved up into the first, second or third position for the draft. But they also could have dropped one, two or three spots.
The night belonged to the Los Angeles Clippers, who jumped up from the third spot to win the lottery. The Clippers, who finished with a 19-63 record under coach Mike Dunleavy last season, entered the lottery with a 17.7 percent of winning it.
Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin is being projected as the first overall pick in the draft but Clippers President Andy Roeser, who represented the team at the lottery, was noncommittal about which player the Clippers would select.
“We’re going to do our due diligence and then we’re going to pick the best player in the draft,” Roeser said on a conference call. “A lot of people think that’s Blake Griffin. I would like to sit with Mike before we make that decision. He’s a terrific athlete. He’s strong.”
He’s a terrific person and I think any franchise would be happy to have a player like Blake Griffin for a long time.
“I also think a lot of people are going to be happy with some of the other players in the draft, like Ricky Rubio and Hasheem Thabeet. I happen to think this is a draft where the top teams are going to be pretty happy in the long run.”
The last time the Clippers had the No. 1 overall pick was in 1998, when they selected Michael Olowokandi.
Also faring well was Memphis, which jumped up from sixth to second, and Oklahoma City, which moved up from fourth to third.
The big losers included Sacramento, which was the favorite going in with a 25 percent chance of winning but dropped from the first position to fourth. Washington dropped from second to fifth and Minnesota dropped from fifth to sixth.
Not since 2004, when Orlando drafted Dwight Howard, has the lottery favorite actually come away with the No. 1 overall pick.