Kyrie or Derrick? Breaking Down the NBA Draft Lottery Sweepstakes

With the NBA draft lottery results ready to be announced Tuesday night, the fates of top overall prospects Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams will be known. We’ve already looked at both Williams and Irving as NBA prospects and clearly think they can be All-Stars at the next level; but one prospect really doesn’t stand above the other.

While some NBA draft’s have had a can’t miss prospect that will be the number 1 pick no matter who wins the lottery (Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Kwame Browne), the winner of this year’s draft lottery will likely pick based on need. More specifically, if they have their point guard of the future – the team will pick Derrick Williams. If not, Kyrie’s their man.

Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving's destinations will be determined Tuesday.

Let’s breakdown the team’s likely choice based on their odds of winning the lottery starting with the team with the best odds: David Kahn’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – 25% chance of winning the lottery – Murph has discussed Kahn’s putrid history of drafting point guards. Jonny Flynn has been a major bust and they currently have Luke Ridnour starting. Easy decision : Kyrie Irving. (Note – This is David Kahn. Jimmer could be the choice.)
  2. Cleveland Caviliers – 21.7% chance – The Cavs really hit rock bottom after Lebron’s departure, but J.J. Hickson has shown flashes of brilliance at PF. There’s a good chance Baron Davis is attempting the Melt challenge. Another relatively easy choice: Kyrie Irving.
  3. Toronto Raptors – 15.6% chance – Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon were the only Toronto players I could think of. Oh and DeMar Derozan. So I checked out the rest of their lineup: Amir Johnson starts at power forward. Pick : Derrick Williams.
  4. Washington Wizards – 11.9% chance – The Wizards drafted John Wall to be their point guard of the future last year. Andray Blatche will be occupied every Tuesday next year. Kyrie not needed : Derrick Williams. 
  5. Utah Jazz – 8.2% chance – Devin Harris can be a quality point guard in this league and maybe Derrick Williams could play small forward if he worked on his handle a little bit. I think Jazz fans would push for Jimmer at 1 but management knows better. Plus they could pick him with their other lottery pick. Pick : Derrick Williams.
  6. Sacramento Kings – 7.5% chance – Tyreke Evans is their “point guard” right now. But Evans is really a scorer and should be playing the 2. Evans really likes having the ball in his hands and might be reluctant to playing off the ball but getting a player like Irving to be their true floor general would be too hard to pass up. Pick : Kyrie Irving.
  7. Detroit Pistons 4.3% chance – I’m not sold on Will Bynum or Rodney Stuckey being a starting point guard on a playoff basketball team. Greg Monroe looked promising at times during his rookie season, so time for Joe Dumars to focus on the backcourt. Easy pick : Kyrie Irving.

    "Stephen, I can't draft Kyrie Irving. He went to Duke. I also can't teach you how to play defense."

  8. Charlotte Bobcats1.7% chance – Michael Jordan picked a Dukie before (Gerald Henderson) but wouldn’t draft a Blue Devil number one. PERIOD. Pick out of pure hatred for his college rival: Derrick Williams.
  9. Milwaukee Bucks – 1.1% chance – Brandon Jennings can cut it at the 1 for an NBA playoff team. I don’t think Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s 7 points a game can. He needs to be coming off the bench for defensive energy. Bring in DWILL. Easy pick : Derrick Williams.
  10. Golden State Warriors – 0.8% chance – The thought of Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, and Monta Ellis pushing the ball 48 minutes a game with little regard for defense or rebounding would be pretty awesome. Doubt that happens though. If they could move Ellis for some help in the front court Irving could be the pick, but Ellis’s contract is pretty brutal. Pick : Derrick Williams.
  11. Phoenix Suns 0.6% chance – If Phoenix win’s the lottery with less than a 1% chance, they have to take Derrick Williams. It’s a sign from the basketball gods: draft the high-flying local legend and give Steve Nash a weapon for a couple more playoff runs. How many alley-oops would Nash throw to Williams a game? 2? 3? Pick: Derrick Williams.
  12. Houston Rockets0.5% chance – Kyle Lowery showed some signs of being a viable point guard in this league, but Irving would be too good to pass up. Unless they wanted to draft Enes Kanter since they have a history of drafting foreign-born centers (Hakeem, Yao)… Pick: Kyrie Irving.
So according to my quick math, it’s roughly 60-40 that Kyrie Irving will be the number 1 pick. We’ll find out for certain who the number 1 pick will be Tuesday. Ok, not officially until June 23rd but you get the point.


Filed under General, NBA Draft

3 responses to “Kyrie or Derrick? Breaking Down the NBA Draft Lottery Sweepstakes

  1. timricca

    In terms of the top 4 teams (T’wolves, Cavaliers, Raptors, and Wiz), i think you pretty much nailed it. There is no doubt that the T’wolves are looking for a point guard, and the Wiz and Raptors are looking for a Derrick Williams type player to complement John Wall and replace Bosh respectively. However, for some reason i can see the Cavaliers taking Derrick Williams over Kyrie, due to Antawn Jamison’s contract expiring next year. With the addition of Derrick Williams to more established players like Varejao and Hickson, the cavaliers would have some pretty good players at the 3, 4, and 5 position. This all depends on whether or not the Cav’s believe they can still get something out of Baron Davis, or whether they think they could sign a free agent point guard in the near future.

  2. timricca

    In terms of free agent point guards, i believe Tony Parker is a free agent after this season, and next year both Chris Paul and Derron Williams are free agents. Assuming they have the money to do so, they could aim for one of these three free agents and get a more established “quarterback” for their offense.

  3. Now that Cleveland has one, I think it’s pretty clear that they’re going to pick Irving. But you think the other teams will be able to lure Paul or Deron to Minnesota or Toronto in 2012? I don’t.

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