NEW YORK - MAY 18: (EXCLUSIVE) Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov with cultural icon and Nets investor JAY-Z celebrate Prokhorov's purchase of the team at lunch today at JAY-Z's 40/40 club on May 18, 2010 in New York City. Prokhorov is representing the Nets tonight at the NBA Draft Lottery in which the team could secure the first pick. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for New Jersey Nets)
It's unusual for the Clippers not to have a representative at the lottery. Last year it was because the draft pick had been traded away. This year, it's for the right reason -- playoffs!
Someone at SBNation sent out an email to all the basketball bloggers asking who was representing their team at the lottery. I had to think for a minute about it, wondering why I didn't know off the top of my head. Was it Roeser again? Del Negro? Who was going? Then I realized -- no one is going! Clippers aren't in the lottery!
So there's not a lot to root for here. Of course you can always root against Golden State jumping into the top three, since they do not deserve to be rewarded for their egregious tanking -- not to mention that with Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut healthy and a top three pick, that team would become yet another tough out in the Western Conference. Root against Sacramento for the same reason -- Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis would be a scary threesome.
On the other hand, I'm kind of rooting for New Orleans -- but with the Minnesota pick more than with their own. I just would love the story, if former-Clipper picks ended up being first overall in back-to-back drafts. Not to mention that the trade would end up being Sam Cassell and the first overall pick for Marko Jaric.
Last Clipper-specific angle (and it's a stretch): I think Clipper fans want Brooklyn in the top three, as high as possible. For and foremost, it keeps that pick in the east -- it heads west to Portland if it's out of the top three, and adding the fourth or fifth pick in this draft to LaMarcus Aldridge and Nick Batum would jump start their rebuild. Then there's the Dwight Howard angle. Rumor has it that it's "Dwight Howard or bust" for Deron Williams in Brooklyn. A top three pick might be the trade chip Brooklyn needs to pry Howard from Orlando, and they might get him to sign an extension at the same time. That would remove him from the 2013 free agent market, taking the Chris Paul-Howard double free agent signing scenario off the table.