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NBA Draft Lottery / Suns-Clippers Open Thread

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Remember lottery parties?

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft Lottery - 8:30pm ET (ESPN)

What had annually been the biggest day on the calendar for Philadelphia 76ers fans is now just another Tuesday. Five years ago, Sixers supporters couldn’t have been more excited with the announcement of the number-one pick belonging to Philadelphia.

Now, said number-one pick, Ben Simmons, is getting the pitchfork treatment by a sizable portion of the fanbase, following yet another disappointing playoff exit for the franchise. Life comes at you fast. With nothing on the line for Philadelphia this evening, we can simply watch and wonder how completely Oklahoma City will control the 2021 NBA draft.

Here are the odds heading into the night:

With the NBA flattening odds, the field is wide-open for the first overall pick, with Houston, Detroit, and Orlando all having the best chance at 14 percent apiece. There are also three big inflection points based upon where certain picks end up falling.

  • Oklahoma City can swap the Miami first-round pick for Houston’s own first-round pick if that pick falls to 5. So Houston will either have a top-four pick (52.1 percent) or the 18th overall pick (47.9 percent). Intrigue! The Thunder have a fairly good chance at two top-five picks.
  • Minnesota gets to keep its own pick, rather than shipping it to Golden State, if it lands is the top-three. The Wolves have a 27.6 percent chance of adding to their young core in a big way, with the Warriors having a 72.4 to bring another top prospect into the fold when Klay returns and he and Steph make another run at it next season.
  • Chicago’s own first-round pick heads to Orlando if it doesn’t fall in the top-four (20.3 percent). The Bulls made a big move to bring Nikola Vucevic to town to team with Zach LaVine. This draft could be their last chance to add another blue-chipper before being stuck in the dreaded middle for quite some time. Meanwhile, the Magic need all the help they can get, and would sure love to see this pick fall in the 8-10 range.

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers - 9:00pm ET (ESPN) - Suns lead 1-0

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the lottery balls convey their franchise-altering proclamations, we are treated to NBA playoff basketball again after yesterday’s off day. Game 1 between the Suns and Clippers Sunday was an incredibly entertaining affair that also brought the added bonus of not ripping our hearts out here in Philadelphia, unlike another contest that took place that day. Devin Booker looks ready to level up. In the absence of Chris Paul (out again tonight due to COVID protocols), Booker recorded his first career triple-double with 40 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. A player getting his first triple-double in a Conference Finals game is truly wild stuff. Rooting for Dario, hometown boy Mikal Bridges, and the Suns seems to be where many Sixers fans will fall among the final four teams left. We’ll see if Phoenix can prevail again, or if Paul George and the Clippers can even the series before it heads back to Los Angeles.