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Sport 2021 NBA Draft Lottery: Biggest winners and losers from the draft lottery

08:15  23 june  2021
08:15  23 june  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The NBA Draft Lottery order is set!

After finishing with a 20-52 record — the worst in the Eastern Conference — the Detroit Pistons will pick first in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft.

They weren't the only team pumping their first after the Lottery, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors making big leaps up the draft board.

MORE: 2021 NBA Draft Big Board

Let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery.

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Winners

Detroit Pistons

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Entering the lottery, the Pistons had the best odds to land the No.1 pick, alongside the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic (14.0 percent), but things in the Motor City are looking a lot brighter after tonight's results, earning the No.1 pick for the first time since 1970.

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Widely projected as the No.1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma State standout averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game on .438/.400/.846 shooting splits.

A potential franchise cornerstone, Cunningham would give the Pistons a strong foundation to add to their existing young core, which includes two players named to the All-Rookie Teams in Saddiq Bey (First Team) and Isaiah Stewart (Second Team), along with Jerami Grant and the No. 8 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Killian Hayes.

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Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were big winners from the lottery, jumping three spots from seventh to fourth — the biggest jump from any team in the lottery.

After a tough season in their relocated home base of Tampa, the Raptors (27-45) missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13, but now have a chance to add a new franchise star to the roster.

MORE: Who should the Raptors select with the No. 4 pick?

They enter a pivotal off-season with Kyle Lowry's free agency as the biggest sticking point. However, with the No.4 pick, they are in a strong position to draft his replacement if he leaves town, with Jalen Suggs likely to be available at that position.

The last time they had the No. 4 pick in the Draft, they selected Chris Bosh in 2003.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Nobody does the Draft Lottery better than the Cavaliers.

The franchise with the most No.1 picks in NBA history couldn't repeat the trick this season, but they walk away from the lottery with the No. 3 selection.

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They entered the lottery in the fifth slot, jumping two spots to put themselves in a strong position to add another franchise-altering star to their young squad.

With Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen on the roster, an athletic swingman will likely be at the top of their list of priorities and there's no shortage of options, including Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.

Golden State Warriors

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The Warriors will walk away from the lottery breathing a sigh of relief after hanging onto the Minnesota Timberwolves' pick, which turned into the No. 7 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft.

The pick was acquired in last year's trade centered around D'Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins, but was top-three protected, meaning the Timberwolves would have kept it if it landed in the top three. With the pick falling outside the top three, the Warriors will now have two picks in the lottery, including their own at No. 14.

If Golden State didn't get Minnesota's pick this season, it would have become unprotected in 2022.

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Armed with two lottery selections, the Warriors are in a great position to bolster their roster for next season, either with more young talent or packaging together their picks to help land an established player.

Coupled with the return of Klay Thompson, the Warriors could be back near the top of the West once again.

Losers

Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns standing next to a body of water: D'Angelo Russell Karl-Anthony Towns Anthony Edwards © Provided by Sporting News D'Angelo Russell Karl-Anthony Towns Anthony Edwards

As we detailed above, the Timberwolves losing their pick in the draft adds a speedbump to their rebuild, especially given the depth of talent at the top of this year's draft.

The Timberwolves (23-49) had a 27.6 percent chance of landing a top-three pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, which could have added a future star to complement their young core of D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

With the Western Conference as competitive as ever, their path back to the playoffs just got a little tougher.

Chicago Bulls

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The Bulls made a win-now move at the trade deadline acquiring All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic in the hopes of getting into the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Instead, they faltered, going 12-14 after the trade, finishing with a 31-41 record, 2.0 games back of the final Play-In spot and now they will watch the Orlando Magic use their pick, which landed at No. 8.

The Bulls would have kept their pick if it landed inside the top four and now they will enter the 2021 Draft with just their second-round pick at No. 38.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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