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NBA Draft Lottery 2015: The Sacramento Kings are due

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Because I said so.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

For years we've seen and heard the same thing. First, we watch as the placard for our beloved Sacramento Kings is revealed way too early on the draft lottery dais. Next, we get a quick shot of the non-plussed Kings representative, and the Kings are then not heard from again for the balance of the telecast. Last but certainly not least, we Kings fans bemoan our fate and curse the continued bad luck.

But is it truly bad luck? I mean, the lottery odds pretty much state that if you are one of the five worst teams in the league, you have a better chance of moving down in the draft than up.

If you are the worst team in the league, you have a 25% chance of staying at #1, and a 75% chance of moving down.

If you are the 2nd worst team, you have a 20% chance of moving up, 19% chance of staying put, and a 61% chance of moving down.

Third: 31% / 16% / 53%

Fourth: 38% / 10% / 62%

Fifth: 29% / 26% / 45%

Sixth: 22% / 44% / 34%

As you can see, if you are one of the four worst teams, the odds are better that you will drop than maintain or ascend. The fifth team has slight better odds of ascending/maintaining than dropping, and the sixth pick is the beginning of the odds being in favor of the team staying put.

With that as a back drop, let's take a look at the Kings' current streak of eight (and soon to be nine) consecutive lottery appearances.

2007: The beauty of this draft is that it wasn't the ping pong ball gods that conspired against the Kings. The Kings finished the season in a three-way tie with Charlotte and New York (the Knicks pick belonged to the Bulls - I believe it was a right to swap picks as part of the Eddie Curry trade). So while the odds would have said ninth, the coin flips dropped the Kings to tenth. Brandan Wright went eight in that draft, and Joakim Noah went ninth. So while this was not a matter of ping pong ball bad luck, it was still bad luck.

Hawes Hawes

2008: 94% chance of picking 12th, and that is where the Kings wound up. Verdict: No luck, good or bad. Jason Thompson is the quintessential no-luck-good-or-bad pick.

2009: Worst record in the league, with a 25% chance of landing the first pick, but a 36% chance of winding up with the fourth pick. The Kings actually wound up with the pick that they had the most likely chance of landing. However, there was a 64% chance that they would pick higher than fourth, so that's very bad luck. The Kings seem to beat the odds at the time with their drafting of Tyreke Evans. Years later...

2010: The Kings finish with the third worst record, but wind up picking fifth. Again, this was the most likely single landing spot for the Kings (27%), but there was a 47% chance that they would pick in the top three. That's some pretty bad luck. The Kings decide for once to make their own luck, and they snatch up DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick.

2011: Tied for the fifth worst record and won the coin flip. Then bounced down two slots by the ping pong balls of death. So a better than 50% chance to stick or move up turns into a two slot drop. That would have been considered bad luck even had the Kings not turned around and dealt the pick and Beno Udrih for the tenth pick and John Salmons. Jimmertime!

2012: Tied for the fifth worst and won the coin flip again. The Kings actually stay put in this one, which translates into a good break, as the odds favored a one slot drop. The Kings fail to cash in on the luck, however, as Thomas Robinson has a cup of coffee in Sacramento before being shipped off to pay the utility bills. But as far as the ping pong balls were concerned, a relatively good break.

2013: Should have picked sixth, got seventh instead. There was a 2-1 chance of moving up or staying put, and the Kings dropped a slot. Landed Ben McLemore when it was all said and done, but statistically this was a phenomenally bad break.

2014: Seriously? Only a 15% shot at the top three, but a 60% chance to stay at number seven. Only a 25% chance of moving down, but the Kings pulled it off. If you liked Julius Randle and think that the Kings may have liked Julius Randle, well then that just serves as the lemon juice in the paper cut. Regardless of how Nik Stauskas turns out, the drop from seven to eight is as bad as it is rare - the jump from nine to one by the Cavs was the largest in modern draft lottery history (along with the Bulls in 2008).

All told, that's one good break, one "you got what you deserved," and six screw jobs of varying length and depth. Good greebus Reince Priebus!

Things aren't any more encouraging when you look at it on a chart:

TEAM

DRAFTS

BIGGEST JUMP

BIGGEST FALL

NET

AVG.

NOTES

BOS

2

0

-3

-4

-2

SAC

8

0

-3

-9

-1.13

BKN/NJ

2

0

-2

-2

-1

11 pick to Ut, 12 pick to Por

LAL

1

0

-1

-1

-1

MIA

1

0

-1

-1

-1

MIL

6

0

-3

-5

-0.83

DET

4

0

-1

-3

-0.75

14 pick to Cha due one spot drop

MIN

7

0

-2

-5

-0.71

12 pick to NO

ORL

3

0

-1

-2

-0.67

CHA

7

0

-2

-4

-0.57

TOR

4

0

-2

-2

-0.5

13 pick to OKC

NY

2

0

-1

-1

-0.5

07 pick to Chi, 10 pick to Ut, 14 pick to Orl

GS

5

0

-2

-2

-0.4

PHX

5

0

-1

-1

-0.2

MEM

4

4

-3

0

0

DAL

1

0

0

0

0

DEN

1

0

0

0

0

HOU

3

0

0

0

0

IND

3

0

0

0

0

07 pick to Atl

LAC

4

2

-1

1

0.25

11 pick to Cle

UTA

6

3

-1

2

0.33

NO

5

3

-1

2

0.4

14 pick to Phl

ATL

2

1

0

1

0.5

Hawks held '07 pick by moving from 4 to 3

OKC/SEA

4

3

-2

2

0.5

PHL

5

4

-1

3

0.6

WAS

5

5

-3

3

0.6

POR

5

6

0

6

1.2

CLE

5

8

-2

14

2.8

CHI

2

8

0

8

4

The Kings are only "bested" by the Celtics when it comes to average drop per draft, but when you take the net into account the Kings easily have worse luck. When you compare the Kings to fellow draft dwellers Minnesota and Charlotte, you get a better idea of what average luck might be for repeat offenders. On the other side of the ledger, the Blazers never took a hit in their five draft appearances (to be fair, four of those picks were ten or lower). The Hawks caught a nice break in '07 when they jumped up one slot, enabling them to retain their top-three-protected pick, which they turned into Al Horford. And Cleveland, between their own pick last year and the Baron Davis pick that they received from the Clippers back in 2011, has been ridiculously lucky (though perhaps that is the payback for living in Cleveland - I keed, I keed!).

What would right the scale? Well, if the Kings jump from six to one in this draft, that would put them at nine drafts and a net of -4, with an average of -.44. That's still on the bad luck side of the scale, but it's close enough that we would all call it even, right? RIGHT?

There you have it, ping pong balls. The Kings have been royally screwed over the past nine years. Yes, it pales in comparison to the Maloofery that took place over much of that period, Yes, the organization squandered many of the draft picks that it had, and could have very likely screwed up even worse with better picks ("We have a trade to announce: The Sacramento Kings have traded Beno Udrih and the rights to Kyrie Irving to the Milwaukee Bucks for John Salmons and the rights to Jimmer Fredette"). Yes, this is nothing more than naked, pantsless, pathetic begging.

Exhaustive studies have been conducted, and the lottery is not fixed. But it should be. For the Sacramento Kings. Now.

Now.

*

Note: To those of you naysayers that say that the Kings will drop three slots, I say hogwash! Why? Because if that happens, the Lakers lose their pick. So to those of you that believe in conspiracies and that the best will befall the Lakers while the worst will befall the Kings, I present you with ping pong balls a la Mitch (Kupchak, not Richmond):

Lakers, Thunder, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Knicks, Sixers, Magic, Kings, Pistons, Hornets, Heat, Pacers, Jazz, Suns.

Lakers Fan