The Detroit Pistons lose the NBA Draft lottery once again

USA Today

The NFL has long avoided adopting any sort of draft lottery system. The worst team earns the top pick every year. It’s a system that has generally served the league, not to mention the Detroit Lions, pretty well over the years.

The NBA, of course, has had a draft lottery for almost 40 years now. The worst team doesn’t get the first pick automatically. In fact, the team with the worst record can fall to fifth in the draft if they don’t get lucky in the weighted lottery.

Such is the case for the Detroit Pistons. For the second year in a row, the Pistons had the NBA’s worst record in the regular season. And for the second year in a row, the Pistons got the worst possible outcome in the NBA draft lottery. They will pick fifth despite having a franchise-worst 14-68 record.


In the NBA’s system, the Atlanta Hawks catapulted from having the 10th-worst record to the No. 1 pick. That’s akin to the New York Jets vaulting from the 10th pick in the 2024 NFL draft to the top spot on the fate of a three percent chance to win the lottery.

Imagine if the Lions had lost any draft lottery in 2022 and wound up losing the chance to select Aidan Hutchinson, or back in 2007 and missing out on Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson because the wrong ping-pong ball came up.

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