So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Posted by on April 7th, 2:53 am

They may only have five ping pong balls out of a 1,000, but it only takes one for the Suns to win the lottery.

They may only possess five ping pong balls out of 1,000, but it only takes one for the Suns to win the lottery.

No, I’m not talking about what needs to happen for the Suns to earn a playoff berth anymore.

Those dreams were shattered during Sunday’s Demolition in Big D, a shocking blowout that jarred even the most optimistic of Suns fans back to reality about this season.

As you continue feeling down and blue over that realization, I interrupt your regularly scheduled melancholy afternoon to bring you the news that there’s still a chance that the Suns could win the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes!

That’s right, when Phoenix finishes the season with the best record of any team outside of the playoff picture, the Suns will retain a 0.5 percent chance of winning the draft lottery, not to mention a 0.59 percent chance of earning the second overall selection and a 0.72 percent chance of winning the No. 3 pick.

OK, so that’s a 1.8 percent chance of a top-three pick and a 98.2 percent chance of selecting 14th, but Rob Mahoney of TrueHoop’s Mavericks blog The Two Man Game only played ESPN’s draft lottery 30 or so times before the Suns came up in the top spot.

It’s not like such a lucky bounce would be unprecedented, as the Magic won the 1993 lottery with the best record among non-playoff teams, although Phoenix will face much stiffer odds than Orlando did 16 years ago.

My conspiracy theory (and yes, I’m the same blogger who wondered if the powers that be would ensure a Kobe-Shaq first-round meeting) is that the league owes the Suns for the events of May 2007.

First, David Stern and Co. suspended Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for leaving the bench during the Game 4 Cheap Shot Rob fracas and a couple days later we found out that the Hawks would retain the pick they owed the Suns from the Joe Johnson trade because the top three-protected pick ended up being No. 3.

There was just a 13.3 percent chance of the third pick ending up in Atlanta, whereas a 62.2 percent chance of the pick being in the fourth through seventh range and thus going to Phoenix, including 35.0 percent at fifth and 16.1 at sixth.

Instead, of course, the Suns received the 15th overall pick last year when Atlanta made the playoffs and selected a thus far disappointing Robin Lopez.

If you really want to feel sick, question at your own risk whether Shawn Marion and such a top pick would have gotten a Kevin Garnett trade done along with an accompanying championship, but if nothing else feel free to ponder a future with a Jeff Green instead of Fropez.

So while Suns fans watch the rest of the league enter playoff mode in the coming weeks, remember there’s still hope that a quiet May evening could yet bring the Suns their best news of the season.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks · Draft · Future · Phoenix Suns Analysis

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alex // Apr 7, 2009 at 12:41 am

    With the luck the Suns are having they will get the 15th pick …

  • 2 Brandon Haraway // Apr 7, 2009 at 1:17 am

    We're such a pathetic and depressed city. We need a title badly. Way to depress your readers with this and the poll Mike.

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