With literally thousands of permutations possible, almost anything can happen in the draft lottery. The best result is obviously to move up in the draft, to first or second or third. The Clippers didn't move up - but other than that, it's hard to imagine the results being much better for the team. Let's look at the things that went right for the Clippers Tuesday afternoon.
- They didn't move down. As I mentioned before, the Clippers' odds of moving down in the draft (to 9th or 10th) were actually better than their odds of moving up. Staying at 8 is a good thing in that context, not to mention that as of now Johnson and Aminu appear to be on the cusp of that 8th pick. A lot can change between now and the draft, but it's entirely possible that one spot is the difference between getting the player they want and need.
- Western Conference teams didn't move up - and three of them moved down. It sucks playing in the West, where it takes 50 wins just to make the playoffs. But at least none of the conference rivals stand to get a franchise player in this draft. If you were going to pick teams to jump up into the top two spots, you'd definitely want them to be East teams. Mission accomplished. It just so happens that three of the four teams that moved down when Washington and Philadelphia moved up were Western Conference teams (two of them are even Division rivals, Sacramento and Golden State).
There are a lot of other implications as well. Assuming John Wall goes to the Wizards and Evan Turner goes to the Sixers, does that mean that Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala are available? Do the teams still in front of the Clippers decide to pick small forwards, or do they go after some of the quality bigs in the draft? There's about five weeks to contemplate all of these issues, and we'll know a lot more as draft workouts get started. But for now, suffice it to say that the lottery could have turned out better, but it also could have turned out a whole lot worse.