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The Bright Side of Suck: A Better Draft Pick

I've bleated on about how the extended Kings swoon is neither surprising nor depressing to me. I realize I'm not everyone, though, and it's understandable a significant subset of Sacramento's diehard fans would be perturbed by the latest machinations of failure.

For you, my friends in the bleak, a silver lining: the Kings are currently in line to have the league's fourth-worst record, which comes with it a better chance at the No. 1 pick, and an assuredly higher pick either way.

We know from fresh experience that the No. 4 pick (even in shallow drafts) can turn out juuuuuust fine. Even more, we know that having the league's worst record doesn't ensure the top pick, or even a top-3 pick, and as such there's a great chance for the league's fourth worst team to leap up into the top three. (The team with the fourth-worst record has an 11.9 percent probability of grabbing the No. 1 pick, a 12.6 percent probability of grabbing the No. 2 pick and a 13.3 percent probability of grabbing No. 3. That's a 37.8 percent probability of leaping up into the top three on lottery day.)

We expect Geoff Petrie to make magic anywhere he picks. But obviously, the magic is greater in density at the top.

This also serves to remove some likelihood this particular asset -- the draft pick -- will be in play as we approach the deadline. Trading what could be a 1-in-8 shot at John Wall for anything less than a full-fledged star would be unconscionable (unless, of course, the pick is protected).