Trust the process, indeed. The Sixers won our latest NBA Draft Lottery simulation. Philadelphia won in the exercise despite having just an 11.9 percent chance, fourth among lottery teams. With the June 22 NBA Lottery approaching, Heavy ran a simulation one last time. It is interesting to note the two times I have conducted lottery simulations, the Celtics did not win either time despite being the favorite. What is the point of doing a lottery simulation? There are two key reasons this is helpful. First, it shows how fluid the lottery order is and reinforces the Celtics are not a lock to win the top selection despite having a 25 percent chance to do so. Secondly, it helps us run through possible scenarios for the draft based on different teams at the top of the draft. Whether or not Boston wins the lottery, there is no doubt the order is not going to follow the exact odds. Where teams pick in the lottery will impact how far certain players fall. In our last simulation, the Suns won the the first pick with the Lakers landing at number two. Both ESPN and Tankathon offer fun lottery simulation models for fans to try on their own.
This past week was the NBA Combine which initiated a discussion on how important the event actually is in the evaluation process. Kevin Durant's comments advising players to skip the combine created a debate around the event. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The combine should not be the most important thing in the process especially over a player's body of work in college. The athleticism measurements paint some of the picture of a player's skills but, as Durant showed, are not necessarily predictive of how good a player can become. With top players sitting out the drills, it is not nearly the spectacle of the NFL. The event is extremely important for players looking to sneak into the first round or simply get drafted. It's importance is not all or nothing. The combine should be viewed as a piece in a long evaluation process. Over the years, the event has lost some of it's luster it had a decade ago, but that does not make it meaningless. It just may not be as meaningful to the top lottery picks as it once was. Click the arrow on the right side of the middle of the page to see Heavy's NBA mock draft after our latest lottery simulation. (Getty)