Why Detroit Pistons fans hate the definitely rigged NBA Draft lottery

Pistons have never gotten lucky break in 14 lottery appearances

Ben Wallace is representing the Pistons at the NBA Draft lottery tonight. He will probably end up looking just as exasperated as he did during this game in 2006.
Ben Wallace is representing the Pistons at the NBA Draft lottery tonight. He will probably end up looking just as exasperated as he did during this game in 2006. (Getty Images)

DETROIT – The NBA Draft lottery is Tuesday night, and Detroit Pistons fans are preparing for more anger and disappointment.

UPDATE: The reverse jinx worked! The Pistons received the No. 1 pick

We all know the lottery is rigged and the NBA would love to find a way to drop the Pistons down to pick No. 7 or 8, but this year, that’s not possible.

As the second-worst team in the NBA behind the Houston Rockets last season, the Pistons can’t pick below No. 6. Here are their full pick-by-pick odds:

  • No. 1 pick: 14%
  • No. 2 pick: 13.4%
  • No. 3 pick: 12.7%
  • No. 4 pick: 11.9%
  • No. 5 pick: 27.8%
  • No. 6 pick: 20.1%

You might be thinking, “Wait, if the Pistons finished with the second-worst record, why is the most likely outcome that they get the No. 5 pick?” The answer is simply that the NBA lottery is a ridiculous concept that doesn’t even accomplish the desired effect of discouraging tanking.

If you log onto Twitter and notice that Pistons Nation seems angry and foreboding, it’s because the franchise has literally never gotten a single lucky break at this event.

Since the lottery was introduced in 1985, the Pistons have been included 14 times. Eight times, the Pistons have gotten the pick that matched where they finished in the standings. Five times, they’ve fallen one spot below where they should have been. Last year, they fell two spots, from No. 5 to No. 7.

This year, Cade Cunningham is a clear No. 1 choice, so it would be great for the Pistons to finally cash in on all the luck they should have on their side. Beyond Cunningham, there are three other elite prospects: Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs.

After the top four, there appears to be a drop-off. Combine that with the fact that the Pistons have a 47.9% chance to pick outside the top four and it’s pretty obvious why fans in the area are feeling nervous.

It’s truly been a “Detroit vs. everybody” type feeling during the lottery. Hopefully this year, when the Pistons finally tanked the right way, they can break the streak.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.