The Toronto Raptors traded away their first-round selection in the 2022 NBA Draft to acquire Thad Young. Unlike last year, where fans were on the edge of their seats after ending up with a top-four pick, Toronto could just sit back and watch the NBA Draft Lottery fireworks.
The Orlando Magic ended up with the No. 1 pick in a very top-heavy draft, with bottom-feeders like the Thunder, Rockets, and Kings filling out the rest of the top four. One of these also-rans will try to replicate Toronto’s climb back to the postseason after a year in the lottery.
While the Raptors play in a division where four teams made it to the postseason, and they don’t have any picks that were directly impacted by the results of this lottery, they should still pay attention to how things shook out. The ripple effects of last night will affect them as well.
Raptors fans should have three main takeaways after watching how the lottery shook out. Even on a night where Toronto could afford to take a back seat and watch the sparks fly, they need to be aware of how the league just changed in a significant way.
3 Raptors takeaways after NBA Draft Lottery
3. Karma for Dwane Casey and the Pistons
Casey and the Pistons have become infamous for consistently beating the Raptors even though they are one of the worst franchises in the league over the last few years. After getting his licks in against his former employer, the Pistons were rewarded with some misfortune.
Although Detroit was tied with Orlando and Houston for the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Pistons only ended up with the No. 5 pick. This was a massive blow for the Pistons in a draft that is widely considered to be lackluster after the top three prospects.
The Pistons’ getting the No. 5 pick is good for the Toronto Raptors.
If Detroit paired one of the top two picks with Cade Cunningham and the oodles of cap space that could be spent on premium free agents, the Pistons could supercharge the rebuild and make a run for one of those play-in spots. Keegan Murray or Shaedon Sharpe won’t have that impact.
The Pistons are likely going to be outside of the playoff picture again due to this lottery drawing, meaning that they would have already burned through half of Cunningham’s rookie deal while spinning their tires in last place. That stinks, doesn’t it, Dwane?