The Milwaukee Bucks Varied Paths To The First Overall Pick In The 2016 NBA Draft

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Really Possible Ones – The Bucks Tank Harder Than New Orleans, Sacramento and/or New York

The New Orleans Pelicans are currently sixth in lotto standings, just 2.5 games worse than the Bucks. The Sacramento Kings are in seventh at one game worse, and the Knicks (the pick goes to Toronto, but whatever) are half a game worse.

This is the most realistic positive scenario for the Bucks. Ending somewhere from sixth to eighth in lottery standings is fairly likely at this point. The Knicks have no incentive to tank because they lose the pick anyway, the Kings are dumb and they have DeMarcus Cousins, and the Pelicans are also dumb and they have Anthony Davis.

The Bucks wouldn’t even need to lose out to take eighth or seventh, they’d just need to almost lose out and have the Knicks or Kings win four or five games.

Sacramento has games upcoming against the Wizards, Suns, Rockets, Nuggets and Timberwolves, while New York has the Mavericks, Nets, 76ers, and two shots at the Pacers remaining.

If both of those teams win three of those games and Milwaukee wins two more times, they’ll be flipping with the Kings for the seventh spot. If Sacramento wins four the Bucks can win two, or if they win five Milwaukee can win three games and have sole possession of the spot (depending on how crappy the Knicks are).

Overtaking the Pelicans will be difficult considering they’ve lost about three full rotations to injury already this season, but it’s not impossible. If the Pelicans win three more times and the Bucks lose out Milwaukee ties with them.

The Pelicans have games against the Suns, Nuggets, 76ers, Nets, Lakers, Bulls and Timberwolves remaining. New Orleans will struggle to lose all of those, meaning they could definitely lose lottery spots over these last few weeks.

Bucks fans should be cheering for New Orleans, Sacramento, and New York the hardest. As much as it pains me to say it, Brooklyn and Minnesota could help out Milwaukee more by losing to these teams to open up the three spots directly above (or is it below?) the Bucks.

Grabbing these spots would be nice, but probably not good enough for an exciting top pick. Ending as the sixth-worst team gives the Bucks a 21.5 percent chance at a top three pick, and a 6.3 percent shot at the first overall selection.

Finishing in seventh or eighth-worst gives a 15 percent and 9.9 percent shot at the top three, and a 4.3 and 2.8 percent chance at the first overall pick, respectively.

Next: A Sad Possibility