* * *
Who should the NBA be rooting for to win next week’s Draft Lottery??
* * *
Steve Aschburner:??New York.?It’s time. Heck, it’s way past due. This isn’t a situation like in 1985, when there was a great hue and cry over New York “suspiciously” landing the No. 1 pick in the inaugural lottery to use on Patrick Ewing. Back then, the Knicks at least had made the playoffs six times in the 11 years after their 1973 NBA championship. Now they have made the playoffs just six times in the 20 years since Ewing’s departure from New York. I’m not saying ownership or management at Madison Square Garden is set up to maximize, hmm, Zion Williamson’s impact. But the fans have paid plenty by now for the team’s sins and/or fumbling. Getting the top pick also might attract an elite free agent or two. It’s the merciful thing to seek.
John Schuhmann:??There's no need to root for anybody. It would be fun to see an explosive, young forward in Atlanta alongside the already promising duo of Trae Young and John Collins. But the winner of the Lottery when it happens doesn't always look like the winner of the Draft five years later. The league should be pretty happy with the amount and diversity of talent it has right now, no matter where that talent happens to be playing.
Sekou Smith:??The "NBA" shouldn't be rooting for anything. There are enough conspiracy theorists out there already. No need to fuel that fire. Since we all know that Zion Williamson is the surefire No. 1 pick in the?Draft, we should probably be rooting for whatever is the best landing spot for the young jumping jack. And that's in Atlanta, on the receiving end of pretty passes from Trae Young as often as humanly possible. Zion and John Collins together would be an absolute freak show. And while I understand this notion of wanting the biggest stars in the biggest markets, enough already. Dwight Howard (Orlando) and LeBron James (Cleveland, twice) have shown us that you can be the biggest star in this league from basically anywhere, provided you are the right kind of superstar. Let Atlanta see if Zion is that right kind of superstar.