LOS ANGELES – Sometimes, the most likely scenario at the NBA Draft Lottery comes to fruition.
That’s what happened this week, with Boston getting the top pick after entering the lottery with the best odds to earn it. The top five was rounded out with the Lakers, Sixers, Suns and Kings, respectively.
Luckily for the Clippers, it doesn’t always work that way.
On this date seven years ago, the Clippers won the draft lottery and beat the odds in doing so, using the pick to select superstar forward Blake Griffin.
The Clippers entered the lottery with the third-best chance of earning the top pick, which would inevitably be used on the Oklahoma forward who happened to be the national college player of the year.
They had just a 17.7 percent chance of landing the top pick, but the Clippers defied the odds, and Griffin rewarded the Clippers with 22.5 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game in his first full year in 2010-11 after missing the 2009 season with a knee injury.
Sacramento had the best chance to win the 2009 lottery after winning just 17 games the previous season, but the Kings fell all the way to fourth in the draft following the lottery. Memphis, with the sixth-best chance to earn the top pick, vaulted up to second. Oklahoma City, with the fourth-best odds, jumped to third.
Behind Sacramento at No. 5 was Washington, which initially had the second-best odds for the top pick. The Wizards’ pick would eventually go to the Timberwolves in a trade, giving Minnesota two top-six picks.
Picking seventh ended up not too shabby for Golden State.
Here’s what eventually happened with each of the top 10 picks in that draft, after the 2009 lottery sorted out the order:
1) LA Clippers – F Blake Griffin
2) Memphis – C Hasheem Thabeet
3) Oklahoma City – G James Harden
4) Sacramento – G Tyreke Evans
5) Minnesota – G Ricky Rubio (Pick From Washington)
6) Minnesota – G Jonny Flynn
7) Golden State – G Stephen Curry
8) New York – F Jordan Hill
9) Toronto – G DeMar DeRozan
10) Milwaukee – G Brandon Jennings