I woke up this morning feeling a bit strange about life.
Tonight is the NBA's annual draft lottery and aaaah, the Toronto Raptors won't be represented. They didn't trade their lottery pick either. No, the team actually achieved some modicum of success this past season which entails Masai Ujiri and co. sitting this draft lottery out.
No lucky loonies, no clovers, no "pasted-on-smile Bryan Colangelo."
On one hand, it's a sight for sore eyes considering Toronto's past six seasons. The team was never going to be truly bad enough to likely compete for a top three spot in the lottery, and the other option, toiling in the later stages of the lottery, wasn't exactly an appealing proposition to the fanbase, regardless of how you felt about tanking. No, the playoffs brought some much-needed excitement to the club, and Ujiri still has a few tricks up his sleeve in this draft, namely the 20th overall pick, and two second-round options as well.
However I do love the NBA draft, and part of me this morning was a bit disappointed that I won't be able to get down in prayer pose around 8 PM EST this evening, hoping that Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid drop into Toronto's lap.
Who wins this evening's event?
If you believe this process has always been rigged by the NBA's higher-ups, Milwaukee Bucks. It's been a while since the team with the worst record took this thing and my gut says Milwaukee fans get some redemption after last year's atrocious campaign.
(I also unfortunately feel like the Lakers jump into the top three but we'll see how this plays out.)
For the Raptors though, the lottery tonight isn't a complete afterthought as depending on which teams land where, trade opportunities may open up for Ujiri and friends.
So while I won't be in prayer pose, I'll be watching this evening, interested to see which teams nab shots at names like Wiggins and Parker.
And also, which teams are once again this season, relegated to the lottery's mid to lower tiers, forced to sift through names like Gordon and McDermott, to try and help right their course.