Brandan Wright

NBA Draft Lottery odds: Time to determine winner of Anthony Davis sweepstakes

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Wednesday night in New York, mathematics, probability, and chance will determine the fate of the NBA’s worst teams, with all signs pointing to tonight’s outcome in the Draft Lottery as the golden ticket to drafting Kentucky star Anthony Davis.

Davis, the Wildcat forward who won both the National Player and National Freshman of the Year awards, averaged 14.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game this past season.

On paper, the Charlotte Bobcats have the greatest statistical shot at grabbing Davis, at 25%, but, seen another way, there is a 75% chance that another team will end up with the first overall pick.

Charlotte has had a less-than-stellar draft history, though their first overall selection has come outside of the lottery just once. With all of those high draft choices, the Bobcats have never selected a true star, and have drafted a few notable players who have yet to live up to Top 15 potential, including No. 3 pick Adam Morrison, No. 8 pick Brandan Wright, and No. 13 pick Sean May.

The draft board gets a bit dicey after that first overall pick, were Charlotte to drop down. They would then need to decide whether to bank on the potential of a player like Connecticut’s Andre Drummond, look at a more experienced player like Kansas’ Thomas Robinson, or take a look at one of the highly regarded players in workouts so far, Florida’s Bradley Beal.

Here are the odds for Wednesday’s Draft Lottery:

1. Charlotte, 7-59, 25.0 percent

2. Washington, 20-46, 19.9 percent

3. Cleveland, 21-45, 13.8 percent

4. New Orleans, 21-45, 13.7 percent

5. Sacramento, 22-44, 7.6 percent

6. New Jersey, 22-44, 7.5 percent (a)

7. Golden State, 23-43, 3.6 percent (b)

8. Toronto, 23-43, 3.5 percent

9. Detroit, 25-41, 1.7 percent

10. New Orleans, 1.1 percent (c)

11. Portland, 28-38, 0.8 percent

12. Milwaukee, 31-35, 0.7 percent

13. Phoenix, 33-33, 0.6 percent

14. Houston, 34-32, 0.5 percent

(a) Pick to Portland if outside the top three.

(b) Pick to Utah if outside the top seven.

(c) From Minnesota (26-40)

The Draft Lottery will take place at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

How do other hauls compare to Kentucky’s recent classes?

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Some things never change.

Kentucky landed 2012’s top prospect in Nerlens Noel Wednesday night, a move that’ll almost certainly give the Wildcats the top-rated recruiting class in college basketball. Consider coach John Calipari four-for-four while in Lexington.

(He’s not done yet, either. Power forward Anthony Bennett, another 5-star player, is considering Kentucky, as are 5-star forwards Amile Jefferson and Devonta Pollard. Bennett is the best bet for the Wildcats, though.)

That’s a run unlike any other in college hoops history and gives the Wildcats four of the top recruiting classes the game’s seen since 2002.

Per Drew Cannon, who’s done work analyzing prospects for Scout.com and Basketball Prospectus, only North Carolina’s 2006 class and Duke’s 2002 class can compare to any of the last four groups Kentucky’s gathered. He places all of the ‘Cats classes ahead of 2007 Ohio State – the Greg Oden-led group that reached the title game – and ’06 Texas, which boasted Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, Damion James and Dexter Pittman (!).

Here’s his rundown of the top 16 classes since 2002, a combination of highly rated prospects and number of guys in said class:

That makes 2012 the closest hoarding of elite talent at a select group of schools since 2006. And those were some good groups in ’06.

All of the above classes include at least one 5-star guy, most have at least two or three. Some, like ’05 Kansas, feature four 5-star guys. And many were extremely successful. At least four (’11 Kentucky, ’06 UNC, ’05 Kansas, ’06 Duke) provided the backbone for national title teams.

The only question I have: Where will Kentucky’s 2013 class fall on this list?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Report: Kevin Durant could have been a North Carolina Tar Heel

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What would have happened if Kevin Durant had gone to North Carolina?

A new piece from the New York Post says it could have happened, but coach Roy Williams went in a different direction.

According to writer Bill Feinberg, as told to Peter Vecsey in the piece, Durant had chosen North Carolina, but Williams decided to give his last scholarship to Brandan Wright, the 6-9 power forward from Tennessee.

Wright went on to be the No. 8 pick in the 2007 draft and is now with the Dallas Mavericks.

Who are some other notable names on that North Carolina roster? Six players in total were drafted into the NBA, including Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, and Wayne Ellington, along with Danny Green, Reyshawn Terry, and the above-mentioned Wright.

In one season at Texas, Durant averaged almost 26 points and 11 rebounds per game, becoming the only freshman ever to win the Naismith Player of the Year award.

Since then, Durant has blossomed into a star in the NBA, 28 points and eight rebounds per game this season, while remaining one of the most youthful and approachable personalities in the league.

What’s my favorite Kevin Durant performance? It didn’t take place in an NBA arena.

Over the summer at Rucker Park in New York City, Durant hit four straight threes and brought the house down.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

A college basketball request for Billy Hunter and David Stern

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Dear Mr. Billy Hunter and David Stern,

I don’t normally do this.

The whole faux letter to a prominent figure or inanimate object thing is completely exhausted, but I feel compelled to express my interest in an unresolved clause in the nearly finalized collective bargaining agreement. A small clause, sure; one that by no means should prolong labor negotiations any further, but needs a fair amount of attention.

I’m talking about pushing the NBA age limit from 19- 20; turning the current “One and Done” rule into the “Two and Through” rule.

Believe me, I know the two of you have far more pressing matters to sweat over this week to ensure the Celtics and Knicks are broadcast into 100 million American homes this Christmas day. Things like discussing tenths of a percentage point that would sway millions of dollars in the direction of players or owners, redefining the mid-level exception, and swiftly re-certifying the NBA Players Association. But I also know you and your stakeholders are cognizant of this rule and are considering increasing the age limit, despite the unlikelihood it would actually pass this week.

Its been overlooked how much an age limit impacts the NBA, and how drastically it changes the landscape (and promotes a level of parity among the power conferences) for the college game. I think it’s not getting nearly enough attention based on the effect it can have.

Sure, I realize that preventing talented individuals from making money off their superior skill-set goes against the capitalism mentality this country has been built on. The best high school baseball players in the country can go straight in to a minor league system if they choose, precocious young minds aren’t required to graduate from college if they’re sitting on the next big thing. Heck, half the LPGA can’t even buy cigarettes.

Perhaps it is incredibly selfish of me to want to keep the best young talent in college for more than one season, but there’s also a real benefit for your image-driven league.

Remember Brandan Wright? After an illustrious high school career, Wright fit the bill as a player allowed to do nothing more than kill time at the University of North Carolina for a few semesters while eagerly awaiting his opportunity to join The League. He was teeming with potential.

As the 8th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Wright earned more than $10 million to sit at the end of the Golden State Warrior bench for the next three seasons. Ostensibly, he hijacked that money from an experienced veteran role player. Not only did many NBA fans have little idea who Brandan Wright was, he disappointed those that had high expectations of him. Maybe he couldn’t make the right decision himself  to stay in Chapel Hill for one more season and hone his skills, so you can help make it for him. Let the next Brandan Wright get more comfortable with a competitive level of basketball, introduce him to the general public, and increase his marketing value upon becoming a member of your association.

With Wright in mind, I would like to discuss a current college player: sophomore Perry Jones III from Baylor.

An explosive athlete with great size and agility, Jones looked ripe as a young kid eager to skip college altogether and pray for a dismal NBA franchise to take a chance on a player with heaps of upside.  Thankfully, under your current age rule, Jones was required to wait a year, and it appeared to be a very important year for Jones, one of maturation.  “I think another year of development can only make things better for me,” he said when officially announcing he would return to Waco for a second season.

Now, Jones is in position to be a first-team All-American as a sophomore and create a real splash with the general public during the NCAA Tournament. He’ll surely turn pro shortly there after with two years of seasoning in a college environment, at which point be delivered to  you as a beautifully gift-wrapped commodity for your sport’s marketing gurus and official partners.

Other young players may not be so shrewd, however.

Allowing good players to make bad decisions is not a business I suspect you want to be running. Implement the Two and Through rule. It will help my game and yours.

Sincerely,

Nick Fasulo is the manager of Searching for Billy Edelin. Follow him on Twitter @billyedelinSBN.