8:56 p.m.: For the fourth time in the history of their franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have the No. 1 overall pick. Last time they had it, you may recall, they selected some LeBron James guy.
Minnesota will draft second, followed by Utah.
But going back to Cleveland, they are the obvious draft lottery winners.
Not only do they have the first overall pick — to likely take Kyrie Irving — they've also got the No. 4 pick. They could trade that pick, or they could double up on some pretty darn good young players. Either way, they're in a lot better shape now than they were 30 minutes ago.
8:50 p.m.: So we're going rapid fire for the first 11 picks. And here's the order thus far:
11. Golden State
Things went as planned for a bit, but Cleveland, who has the rights to what would have been the Clippers' pick, were able to move all the way up to the No. 4 pick. They've still got another ping-pong ball in the party. The Cavs, T-Wolves and Jazz are all in the running for the picks Nos. 1-3.
8:47: Utah at 12, Golden State to pick 11.
8:46: Houston will pick 14th. Phoenix will be 13th.
8:32 p.m.: Before we get going, here's a cool story on Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert's 14-year-old son, Nick, who suffers from a nerve disorder.
He's representing the Cavs tonight. And he's rocking a sweet bow tie.
8:30 p.m.: Heather Cox is breaking down the lottery process right now, giving insight to the actual room in which the lottery takes place.
A couple of thoughts:
FIrst of all, how does the NBA determine which four national media members get to be in there? On that subject, there sole purpose for being in there has to be that they're serving as witnesses, right?
Also, what's with the awkward posters of NBA players in there? Are they trying to make it look like a secret clubhouse hideout? I hope that's the real reason, and not the more logical one that has to do with that building being the NBA Entertainment Studios, and they were in there anyway.
8:25 p.m.: We gave you chances that each team has to earn the No. 1 pick earlier. You may have noticed the Cleveland Cavaliers have a pretty decent chance at earning the top pick at 19.9 percent.
What you may have also noticed, is that they have a chance, albeit an outside one, at securing the second pick.
You would have to think that Irving is their No. 1 choice, but having the top two picks in the draft would make that decision easier in, you know, they could take him and Williams.
8:15 p.m.: There's roughly 20 minutes until things get started in Seacaucus, N.J.
The best part of the NBA draft — or any draft really for that matter — are the mock drafts that lead up to the actual event.
NBADraft.net is one of the better mock draft sites out there, and not surprisingly, they have Williams and Irving atop their mock.
One cool thing in their mock draft has to be the pick of BYU guard Jimmer Fredette staying in-state and being picked by the Jazz at No. 12.
Of course, once the actual lottery happens, that draft will likely be blown up. But until then, it's something to keep in mind.
7:15 p.m.: So what does winning the NBA draft lottery mean to teams? Well, some years it can change a franchise in all the right ways. And then some other years, not so much.
Just take a look at the No. 1 overall picks over the last few years. On one hand, you'll see some of the best players on the planet right now. And then on the other hand, you'll see Greg Oden.
2010 – John Wall
2009 – Blake Griffin
2008 – Derrick Rose
2007 – Greg Oden
2006 – Andrea Bargnani
2005 – Andrew Bogut
2004 – Dwight Howard
2003 – LeBron James
6:30 p.m.: The landscapes of some NBA franchises will be altered on Tuesday night, and it has nothing to do with Game 1 of the Western Conference final in Dallas.
That's because the NBA draft lottery will take place prior to the tipoff of Thunder-Mavericks, and for a couple of lucky teams, it will mean the chance to draft a potential cornerstone.
Teams will be hoping for a generous bounce of the ping-pong balls in order to set themselves up to draft either Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams. The two college standouts are the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 picks, with the order contingent upon teams' needs.
As far as the lottery process goes, there are 14 teams in the lottery itself, all vying for the top three selections in the draft. When those spots are determined, the draft order will be determined by record.
Below are the 14 teams in the lottery and their chances of landing the No. 1 pick.
Minnesota — 25 percent
Cleveland — 19.9 percent
Toronto — 15.6 percent
Washington — 11.9 percent
Sacramento — 7.6 percent
Utah (from New Jersey) – 7.5 percent
Detroit — 4.3 percent
Cleveland (from L.A. Clippers) — 2.8 percent
Charlotte — 1.7 percent
Milwaukee — 1.1 percent
Golden State — 0.8 percent
Utah — 0.7 percent
Phoenix — 0.6 percent
Houston — 0.5 percent
Check back for updates throughout Tuesday night to see which way the ball bounces.
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