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NBA Draft 2014: Playing with ESPN's Lottery Machine

To unwind at the end of a long semester, Tyler Lashbrook toyed around with the Lottery simulator.

Steven Freeman - NBAE/Getty Images

So it's getting late, Finals week is coming, and I just finished one of the biggest projects of my college career. I need to relax. What better way to do that than to whip out ESPN's Lottery Machine and see what happens, especially with regard to the Orlando Magic? So that's what I've done. These are some things I've learned:

No matter what, Orlando is going to pick Dario Saric with the WoNK. OK, that's not fully true, but in the lottery machine scenarios, it certainly is. I've played with this thing way too much and I've never once seen Orlando pick anyone else with the WoNK. Basically, this machine has a ton of scenarios programmed in here, but regardless of the teams picking, Saric, Nik Stauskas and Zach LaVine always go 12th, 13th, and 14th. No fun, Mr. Chad Ford! No fun!

Below is a transcript of my first 10 scenarios:

Scenario no. 1: Orlando picks Andrew Wiggins no. 1

I'm not saying I should represent the Magic at the lottery, but... no, that's totally what I'm saying.

WIGGINS! Well, would ya look-y there. Orlando picks up the Canadian prodigy in my first attempt. I'm not saying I should represent the Magic at the lottery, but... no, that's totally what I'm saying.

Also: Jabari Parker goes second to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Embiid goes third to the New Orleans Pelicans. I love both of these fits, mostly because Jabari and Kyrie Irving would be the first star duo every to end with the "E" sound and the Embiid-Anthony Davis combination would be terrifying. More terrifying than the old Pierre the Pelican.

Scenario no. 2: Orlando picks Embiid no. 4

Guess who grabs Dante Exum third? The other team in Los Angeles that isn't in the playoffs. How mad would the collective Magic fanbase be in this situation on a scale from 1-Dwight Howard Saga?

I was almost positive the lotto machine would peg Marcus Smart here, but I'm glad it didn't. In this situation, the Magic should take Embiid and figure out his fit next to Nikola Vucevic later.

Scenario no. 3: Orlando picks Exum no. 3

The Milwaukee Bucks take Wiggins first, thus giving them the All-Length combo of Wiggins and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the wings. OK, I just wanted to prove I could write "Antetokounmpo" without looking it up. Wait, did I spell it right?

Scenario no. 4: Orlando picks Exum no. 5

WOOOOOOOO. The proverbial ping pong balls in our Interwebz machine giving us a virtual shocker here. The Minnesota Timberwolves get the top pick with 0.6 percent odds and take Jabari Parker. This scenario has got to be the most fun one, right? The Timberwolves can trade Kevin Love and build around their shiny, new top pick or they can convince Love to stay and they form one of the best duos at the forward spot. Orlando still gets Exum. Everyone's happy!

Scenario no. 5: Orlando picks Exum no. 5

Wiggins goes first to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Boston Celtics take Embiid second over Parker. Parker goes third to the Denver Nuggets (Hi, New York Knicks!). Also, the Detroit Pistons' pick falls ninth, so the Charlotte Bobcats get it and select Noah Vonleh. This is the All Bad Management Draft Scenario in which the Pistons and Knicks both miss out on lottery picks in years that neither team makes the playoffs. Oof.

Scenario no. 6: Orlando picks Exum no. 5 (On a roll here at the five spot)

Wiggins heads to Milwaukee. Parker goes to Utah, which, Mormonism!

Scenario no. 7: Orlando picks Exum no. 2

Wiggins to Philly. Orlando picks Exum over Parker. It's pretty safe to say that Ford fully believes the Magic are eyeing their point guard of the future.

Scenario no. 8: Orlando picks Marcus Smart no. 6

Parker goes to Utah first overall. And the Sacramento Kings take Wig... wait, what? Sacramento takes Embiid? Even though they need another wing defender and DeMarcus Cousins just signed a huge contract and started making strides this season on the defensive end of the floor? Even though Wiggins could fit so nicely because he wouldn't have to immediately shoulder the load on offense? Whatever. Do you, Kings.

Scenario no. 9: Orlando picks Exum no. 4


OK, it's not that bad, but I don't get it. I guess they can start a new-age twin towers, but I can think of four players who fit better here. I suppose they're super high on Embiid.

Scenario no. 10: Orlando picks Wiggins no. 1

WOOO. #LashyToTheLottery


I played with this machine about a week ago and this happened:


Seriously, though: The Celtics HAVE to pick Parker in this situation! Can Adam Silver mandate that if Boston and Los Angeles have the top two picks, they can only choose Parker or Wiggins. It's like playing Pokemon Red. If Ash (L.A.) chooses Squirtle (Wiggins), then Blue (Boston) HAS to choose Charmander (Parker). You can't get all crazy and pick Bulbasaur (Embiid). Come on now!

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