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First five picks of 2018 NBA draft make All-Rookie first team

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Remember the first five picks of last year’s draft?

1. Suns: Deandre Ayton

2. Kings: Marvin Bagley

3. Hawks (to Mavericks): Luka Doncic

4. Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr.

5. Mavericks (to Hawks): Trae Young

A year later, and those same five players comprise the All-Rookie first team.

Here’s the full voting (first-place votes, second-place votes and voting points in parentheses):

First team

Luka Doncic, DAL (100-0-200)

Trae Young, ATL (100-0-200)

Deandre Ayton, PHO (95-5-195)

Jaren Jackson Jr., MEM (60-39-159)

Marvin Bagley III, SAC (56-44-156)

Second team

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LAC (40-58-138)

Collin Sexton, CLE (39-54-132)

Landry Shamet, LAC (3-79-85)

Mitchell Robinson, NYK (3-71-77)

Kevin Huerter, ATL (1-43-45)

Also receiving votes: Mikal Bridges, PHO (1-29-31); Kevin Knox, NYK (0-22-22); Josh Okogie, MIN (1-10-12); Jalen Brunson, DAL (0-10-10); Allonzo Trier, NYK (0-10-10); Rodions Kurucs, BRK (0-9-9); Wendell Carter Jr., CHI (0-7-7); Miles Bridges, CHA (1-4-6); Bruce Brown, DET (0-2-2); Harry Giles III, SAC (0-2-2); Mo Bamba, ORL (0-1-1); Aaron Holiday, IND (0-1-1)

This is only the second time the top five picks all made the ensuing All-Rookie first team. The other: 1984-85, when the top five picks were:

1. Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon

2. Trail Blazers: Sam Bowie

3. Bulls: Michael Jordan

4. Mavericks: Sam Perkins

5. 76ers: Charles Barkley

I don’t think voters erred by favoring bigger-name players this year. I had the same first-team picks.

My only quibble: I would’ve put Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson on the second team over Kevin Huerter and Collin Sexton. Sexton made incredible strides during the season, but focusing on that obscures his awful start in what I think should be a full-season assessment. His box plus-minus (-5.2) is the worst ever for an All-Rookie teamer since Adam Morrison in 2007 (-5.5).

But if Sexton continues on the track he showed within the season, nobody will view him as another bust.

This is an impressive rookie class, led by Doncic. This will be the first of many honors for several of these players.

Ranking the biggest NBA draft lotteries of all-time

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The 2019 NBA draft lottery appears particularly important.

Where does it rank all-time?

Here are the five biggest lotteries, based on what we knew entering the drawing:

1. 1997 (Tim Duncan)

Duncan looked like a ready-made superstar coming out of Wake Forest, where he played for four years. That gave NBA teams plenty of time to salivate over him.

The Celtics tanked their way to a 15-67 record and traded Eric Montross to the Mavericks for another lottery pick. Boston had a 36% chance of getting the No. 1 pick and treated it as a likelihood.

Instead, the Spurs got the top pick and built a dynasty around Duncan. Boston settled for and made little use of the No. 3 pick (Chauncey Billups) and No. 6 pick (Ron Mercer).

2. 1985 (Patrick Ewing)

The NBA’s first lottery came just in time. Ewing looked like a generational prospect at Georgetown. Teams would have tanked hard for him.

At first, every lottery team had an equal chance at each pick in the lottery. So, this was an important experiment for determining how, and how not, to structure the drawing.

The Knicks won the lottery that sparked a thousand conspiracies, and Ewing manned the pivot in New York for a decade and a half. Every team saw the importance of getting a high pick – and just how fickle attempting to land one could be.

Ewing was the clear prize, but the next few picks – Wayman Tisdale, Benoit Benjamin, Xavier McDaniel, Jon Koncak – retroactively made clear the importance of getting No. 1 this year.

3. 2012 (Anthony Davis)

Davis was a special prospect, but at this point, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also impressive. At least everyone was right about Davis, whom New Orleans got. (Kidd-Gilchrist went No. 2 to Charlotte).

In addition to the big name at the top, a couple protected picks had lasting ramifications.

The Warriors, with the No. 7 lottery seed and a top-seven-protected pick, stayed at No. 7. They used that pick on Harrison Barnes, who became a starter on their 2015 title team and 73-win team the following year.

On the other hand, the Nets stayed at No. 6 and conveyed their top-three-protected pick to the Trail Blazers. Portland took Damian Lillard and have since built a conference finalist around him. Brooklyn soon entered a dark period it’s now just escaping.

2003 (LeBron James)

LeBron was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in high school… as a junior. The hype was palpable, especially with his hometown team – the Cleveland Cavaliers – having the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick.

But by the time of the lottery, Darko Milicic and Carmelo Anthony had emerged as great consolation prizes. Chris Bosh was working his way into an impressive fourth prospect. The draft appeared to remain deep throughout the lottery with a strong group that’d later be headlined by Dwyane Wade. So, as coveted as LeBron was, it was also important just to have a pick in this lottery.

That’s why two protected selections loomed so large.

The Grizzlies kept their own pick only on the 6% chance they got No. 1. So, it was LeBron or bust. Memphis busted, though its conveyed pick – No. 2 to the Pistons, who took Darko – was also the rare bust in this draft.

The Hawks, the No. 8 seed in the lottery, owed the Bucks a top-three-protected first-rounder. Atlanta stayed at No. 8 and gave Milwaukee the pick used on T.J. Ford.

5. 2019 (Zion Williamson)

See here.

Honorable mention:

2007 (Greg Oden and Kevin Durant): With two projected superstars in the draft, it didn’t feel as essential to get the No. 1 pick over the No. 2 pick – slightly lowering the perceived importance of this lottery. Oops.

2009 (Blake Griffin): Griffin stood alone as the top prospect, but Ricky Rubio was a highly rated second prospect – who surprisingly fell to No. 5.

1987 (David Robinson): As great as Robinson was, there was too much uncertainty about when he’d jump to the NBA from Navy, including whether he’d actually join the team that drafted him in 1987.

1992 (Shaquille O’Neal): Shaq looked awesome and became the (correct) No. 1 pick, but eventual Nos. 2 and 3 picks Alonzo Mourning and Christian Laettner softened the blow of not landing the top pick, at least in the theory of the time.

2019 NBA draft lottery odds visualized

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Every NBA draft lottery is important.

Tonight’s – with Zion Williamson as the prize, multiple protected picks in play and the first drawing under the revamped odds – is especially important.

Here are the odds of each pick for every team involved:

New York Knicks


Cleveland Cavaliers


Phoenix Suns


Chicago Bulls


Atlanta Hawks


Washington Wizards


New Orleans Pelicans


Memphis Grizzlies


Minnesota Timberwolves


Los Angeles Lakers


Charlotte Hornets


Miami Heat


Boston Celtics


Dallas Mavericks


Philadelphia 76ers


Picks a team cannot get are not displayed. If a team has a chance, but a less than 0.5% chance, of a pick, it’s rounded to 0%.

The Mavericks keep their pick only if it lands in the top four. Otherwise, it goes to the Hawks.

The Grizzlies keep their pick only if it lands in the top eight. Otherwise, it goes to the Celtics.

The Kings’ pick will get to the Celtics, unless it lands No. 1. In that case, the 76ers get it.

Report: Cavaliers hiring Michigan coach John Beilein

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The Cavaliers’ coaching search had seemed relatively uninspiring, focused on so many NBA assistants around the league, it was hard to get excited about any of them.

But Cleveland is making a huge splash.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

University of Michigan coach John Beilein has agreed to a five-year contract to become the Cleveland Cavaliers coach, league sources told ESPN.

Beilein interviewed with the Pistons last year before Dwane Casey got that job. It appeared that would be the last great opportunity for Beilein, 66, to jump to the NBA.

But the Cavs came calling, and Beilein couldn’t turn down this opportunity. He has risen a head coach in high school, junior college, Division III, Division II and Division I. This is the final step, and it must be so rewarding to have a chance to prove himself on the highest level.

Beilein’s spread offensive concepts should translate. He’s a great teacher who would have made sense in the NBA long before the league began to view him as a serious coaching candidate. In the meantime, Michigan also developed an elite defense. However involved or not Beilein was in that, credit him for hiring good assistants. That’s an important part of head-coaching. Beilein’s ability to adjust, in the micro and macro, is outstanding.

Going to a league where players have more power than college will be a test, but the Cavaliers’ situation should help. They’re rebuilding, and expected roster churn over the next couple years should limit players’ ability to gripe. It’s important for Beileien to connect early and avoid a culture where players think they can walk all over him. His ability to help them develop their games and his genuine nature will be his best assets as he works to command respect.

This is an especially interesting hire considering Cavs owner Dan Gilbert attended Michigan State. He previously targeted Michigan State coach Tom Izzo – which could have set back Gilbert’s college and pro teams. Izzo is a great college coach who has since struggled to maximize his future NBA players. Instead, Gilbert now poaches arguably the best coach rival Michigan has ever had.

Beilein is no sure thing in the NBA. But considering where he and the Cavaliers are at this point, this is a great experiment for both to undertake.

Report: Pistons will consider Derrick Rose as free agent option at point guard

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The Pistons have a lot of roster questions this summer and not a lot of money or flexibility to do much about them (this is not a franchise looking to pay the tax for this roster). For example, they need size and athleticism on the wing, something the Bucks exposed in the playoffs. They need depth in a lot of spots.

They also need help at the point. Reggie Jackson is under contract for one more season and is solid (plus he was healthy for a full season, for the first time in a couple of years), but the Pistons need depth and a change of pace beyond that. Ish Smith could return as a free agent, but he will have options and it will come down to money.

Money that could go to Derrick Rose, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

Derrick Rose is a free-agent option who will be a subject of debate within the front office, according to a source with firsthand knowledge of franchise thinking…

Seth Curry is another player of interest…. There will also be interest in Los Angeles Clippers pit bull Patrick Beverly.

Rose had a resurgent season in Minnesota, averaging 18 points a game, hitting 37 percent from three, and dishing out 4.3 assists per game. It’s the best he’s played since his MVP-era seasons. However, he played just 51 games due to injuries, something that will concern teams handing out his next contract (which will still be larger than the $2.1 million he signed for this season).

The question is how much is Rose worth? He is not a perfect fit for the Pistons, but he might be the best they can afford.

The Pistons have their mid-level exception available ($9.6 million, which can be divided between multiple players), plus their bi-annual exception ($3.6 million) to round out all those roster spots. It’s not going to be easy, but any help the team can get Blake Griffin is a good thing at this point.