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News » Kings have best shot at Griffin

Kings have best shot at Griffin

Kings have best shot at Griffin
NORMAN The NBA season is over. The race to select Blake Griffin number one overall in the June 25 draft has just begun. Well, it's not really a race. That would involve skill. Winning the top pick, and this year he is ex-Oklahoma Sooner Griffin, is about luck.

It's about winning the NBA draft lottery May 19. Ping-pong balls representing the 14 non-playoff teams go into a plexiglass drum. The balls that come out of the hopper determine the top three picks in the draft (picks 4-14 are determined by record, with the worse teams getting the higher picks). The worse the lottery team's record, the higher that team's chances of winning the top pick. Meaning, until May 19, the Sacramento Kings, coming off a 17-65 season, have the best shot at Griffin. A percentage has even been attached 25. The Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards tied for second-worst record at 19-63. Thus, they share a 17.75-percent shot at drafting Griffin. Next comes the Oklahoma City Thunder , whose season-finale blowout of the Clippers secured a 23-59 record, fourth-worst in the NBA. The Thunder takes an 11.9-percent chance into the lottery. That begs a couple questions. First, how would Griffin, who played for Edmond's Oklahoma Christian School before coming to Norman for college, feel about staying home to play pro ball? "If it happens, it happens," he said April 7, the day he declared for the draft. "If it doesn't, I'm not going to cry or be upset... It's not something I can control." The Thunder, who could use both Griffin's force and local-boy draw, likely feels a little stronger. To that end, could general manager Sam Presti leverage his team's situation? Sure. Oklahoma City owns a potential lottery pick, as well as San Antonio's pick which will come toward the later stages of round one. Presti could package that pick with the higher one and trade up for the rights to draft number one overall. For the rights to Griffin. If it doesn't happen, Griffin could go to one of 13 other cities, including Sacramento, Los Angeles and Washington. Memphis and Minnesota both finished 24-58, meaning they share a 7.5-percent chance at drafting number one. Golden State was next at 29-53. Give the Warriors a 4.3-percent shot at Griffin. The New York Knicks, who came in at 32-50, own a 2.8-percent chance. Toronto, at 33-49, has a 1.7-percent shot. The odds are slimmer from there. Milwaukee and New Jersey finished at 34-48 and with a 1-percent lottery chance. Charlotte, at 35-47, is at 0.7 percent. Indiana, at 36-46, is at 0.6. Phoenix, finally, is at 0.5 after finishing 46-36 but out of the playoffs. Is there a part of Griffin that might find playing outside his home state interesting? "I've never lived outside Oklahoma, so there's a part of me that kind of wants to," he said. "But it's out of my hands. I'm not going to worry about it either way. A job's a job. Money's money. I'm going to go work." Guerin Emig 581-8355 SUBHEAD: Thunder ends year with fourth-worst record in NBA.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 19, 2009


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