The 5 most memorable moments in NBA draft lottery history

By Mitch Kunzler

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, May 19 2014 11:05 p.m. MDT

Chicago Bulls executive vice-president of business operations Steve Schanwald poses for photographers after winning the NBA draft lottery, giving the Bulls the number one pick in the upcoming draft, Tuesday, May 20, 2008, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


With the 2014 NBA draft lottery scheduled for Tuesday, NBA owners, players and fans can't help but anticipate what the lottery future for their respective teams holds.

With an upcoming draft class that includes Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Julius Randle, this year's lottery makes for a very exciting one. Whichever draft pick a team ends up with could help decide the future of the team for better or worse.

In preparation for Tuesday, here is a look at the five most memorable moments in NBA draft lottery history:

The Bulls get the first overall pick in 2008, despite only having a 1.7% chance of doing so

The 2008 NBA draft lottery was scripted like a children's story for the Chicago Bulls. Of the 1,000 ping pong balls in the lottery, Chicago owned only 17 of them. Yet, despite the odds, Chicago miraculously captured the first overall pick, which allowed it to draft Derrick Rose, who grew up in Chicago.

Rose immediately made an impact for the Bulls, winning the NBA's Rookie of the Year award in 2009, and the Most Valuable Player award in 2011.

Stemming from their amazing lottery luck, the Bulls hope Rose can bring home an NBA championship in the near future.

Grizzlies excitedly draft Steve Francis, but are forced to trade him

In the 1999 NBA draft lottery, the then Vancouver Grizzlies ended up with the second overall pick in the draft. With Elton Brand being taken first overall, the Grizzlies snatched up Steve Francis, the electrifying guard out of Maryland. What was so memorable however, was the reaction by Francis. He made it clear that he didn't want to play in Vancouver, and in the upcoming months, the Grizzlies had no choice but to trade Francis.

Francis headed to Houston, where he went on to win the Rookie of the Year award, followed by three NBA All-Star selections. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, ended up getting players and picks in return for Francis, none of whom helped take their franchise to another level. Two years later, the franchise moved to Memphis.

The Blazers overcome the odds but select a bust

In the 2007 NBA draft lottery, the Portland Trail Blazers had only a 5.3 percent chance at getting the top pick in the NBA draft. Despite the odds, when it came time for then Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver to name the final two teams, it was the Seattle Supersonics that wound up with the second pick, leaving the first overall pick to Portland.

When the draft finally arrived, the Blazers selected center Greg Oden with their top pick, and the Sonics selected Kevin Durant with the second pick.

While Oden was a player who looked like he would be dominant for years to come, the result was quite the opposite. Injuries have plagued Oden his entire NBA career. He played in 61 of the 82 games his rookie year, but his impact was very minimal. The following season, Oden played in only 21 of 82 games, and his production once again was sub-par. He then went on to miss the following three NBA seasons, before signing this year with the Miami Heat. This season, Oden has only played in 23 games, and looks like a player who is trying to relearn how to play basketball.

Kevin Durant, on the other hand, seems to be on cruise control to become a future Hall-of-Famer. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2008, followed by four NBA scoring titles, and of course this year's Most Valuable Player award.

Blazers fans will always wonder what would have happened, had they taken Kevin Durant with the first pick in 2007.

The Cavs announce that they will draft LeBron hours after they win the draft lottery

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