Stating the Obvious: Why It Matters to Win the NBA Lottery

Sam Hinkie lost his job chasing a goal obvious to everyone but said by few: the easiest way to get talented basketball players is getting the top pick in the draft.

Players Drafted by Draft Position in Top 5 of Class by Win Share

Since 2003 NBA Draft

Since LeBron James, 9 of the 13 #1 picks have Win Share career totals in the Top 5 of their draft class, the most of any draft position. Their performance over their careers is also at an elite level, averaging 8.7 WS/year.

The 69% rate with which Top 5 players from a draft class are found also tops the draft slots, significantly. Only:

  • 31% of players drafted second or third meet the Win Share criteria;
  • 17% from the rest of lottery slots (4–14);
  • 8.2% from the remaining first round; and
  • 1.5% from the second round

Now that Philly has hit the 25% lottery for snaring the top spot on the back of Hinkie’s Process, it’s incumbent upon the Colangelo clan to hit on the 69% chance and nail the pick.

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