DETROIT – Will the ping pong lottery balls float the Pistons way yet again?
The NBA Draft Lottery for the 2022 draft will be held tonight, and for the second straight year, the Pistons are among the three teams with the highest odds to land the top pick.
Last year, the Pistons won the lottery, landing their first No. 1 pick in 50 years -- it was, of course, Cade Cunningham. If the Pistons win it again, it’d be the first time a team won it back-to-back since Cleveland in 2013 and 2014.
The 14 teams that did not make the 2022 playoffs are eligible for the Lottery. Houston and Orlando are among the other teams with the same odds as Detroit.
After drawings are conducted for the first four picks of the NBA Draft, the other lottery teams will continue to pick in inverse order of their regular-season record.
Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.
Before 2021, the Pistons last picked No. 1 overall in 1970, selecting Bob Lanier, who would become a Hall of Fame player with his jersey retired in Detroit. Lanier died last week. The following season, Detroit picked 11th, drafting Curtis Rowe out of UCLA.
Despite being in the bottom three NBA teams in win percentage this season, the Pistons young core is coming along nicely, and adding another top lottery pick would be a big boost to the rebuild timeline.
Former Pistons all-star Richard Hamilton will represent the team at the lottery this season. Ben Wallace was the team’s rep last year.