Pistons face short odds, big risk in NBA lottery

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This is a very important night.

Stan Van Gundy brings the Pistons so much hope, but the bounce of 14 ping-pong balls could undermine all that.

The NBA lottery is tonight at 8 p.m., and the Pistons – thanks to the disastrous Ben Gordon trade – face an all-or-nothing scenario. They’ll either keep a top-eight pick in the best draft in a decade or, if they slip at all, fall out of it entirely.

Fortunately, the odds are strongly in Detroit’s favor – an 82.4 percent chance of keeping the pick. When is the last time the Pistons entered a game with an 82.4 percent chance to win? 2008? This is a much more favorable scenario.

But 17.6 percent is plenty of reason for my palms to sweat, even as I type this. This is far from a lock.

If the Pistons jump into the top three – a 10.0 percent chance – they could get a true star who immediately contributes on the wing and eventually helps Andre Drummond contend for a championship. In this draft, it’s hardly unfathomable – if Drummond develops as hoped – even a player the Pistons draft at No. 8 could one day swing the narrow margins between winning a title and not.

The stakes are that high.

Of, course the Pistons will still owe the Bobcats a first-round pick eventually. If not conveyed this year, the pick is only top-one protected next year.

I’m not really worried about that, though. With Van Gundy coaching, Drummond a year older, the cap flexibility to keep Greg Monroe and add a strong rotation player in free agency, the Pistons should surge forward next season.

Especially if they have the top-eight pick in the 2014 draft that I WANT SO BADLY.

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Tags: Ben Gordon Greg Monroe Joe Dumars Kyle Singler Stan Van Gundy

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