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NBA Draft Lottery: To rig or not to rig

In this May 21, 2013 file photo, NBA basketball team representatives sit onstage at the start of the NBA draft lottery in New York. The draft lottery is Tuesday, May 20, 2014, a night some teams appeared to be aiming toward for months during a season featuring plenty of talking about tanking. The winner gets the No. 1 pick in next month's draft, when an Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker might make all of this season's misery worth it. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

The NBA Draft Lottery is coming up in a couple of hours.

Yes, I believe it's been rigged at times in the past. Yes, I receive a ton of e-mails from people in the league that ask me, "Do you really?"

They still think I'm joking after the conversation. I am not joking. I don't trust David Stern.

Now that Stern is gone, I have no idea what will happen. It's not like when the Hornets could not be sold and when an owner was finally found, the Hornets won the lottery. The Knicks and the frozen envelope, LeBron going home to save the franchise. Irving going to Cleveland to replace LeBron so the franchise's entire value doesn't bring the whole league down.

Adam Silver might decide that it's time to end the placement of players in big markets, pawns to earn new arenas or as an ownership reward.

We will know just how much "chance" is involved tonight.

Look out for these red flags:

Los Angeles (Lakers), New York, Philadelphia and Boston all missed the playoffs for the first time since all entered the league. The NBA has to give some juice (NY's pick is still paying off the Melo trade, though).

Denver has a story line because the owners could penalize the Knicks for constantly over-spending and give Denver a top three pick that is actually New York's.

Milwaukee and Sacramento have new owners. Since someone actually bought the Bucks, look out there.

Orlando, Utah, Detroit, New Orleans and Cleveland have no ownership issues or arena issues so none will advance.

The Suns have too much to gain to win. If they win, it pushes Minnesota to number 14. The Suns have the rights to the T-Wolves pick unless that pick falls from 1-13, meaning the Suns actually gain not just a great player from the top three if they win but also an extra pick at number 14.

I don't know the order of 1, 2 and 3 but following the guidelines of the Stern regime, Sacramento, Boston and the Lakers will all be in the top three. Milwaukee's new ownership will have to wait one buffer year like Sacramento did last year.

Erase this entire blog if Adam Silver is truly the new sheriff in town. If Milwaukee, Orlando and Utah win, we'll know that David Stern is completely part of the past...or maybe the Suns win since Stern isn't here to stop it anymore?

About the Author

School: Ohio University...Go Bobcats!

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: 1st Doug & Wolf Show: 1/2/07

Favorite sports memory: Goldschmidt's triple icing the 2011 NL West title because it was a daddy-daughter day at the ballpark and Bellbrook vs. Dunbar '89 when I hit my one varsity HR.

Favorite all-time athlete: as a kid, an adult, Grant Hill

Favorite sports movies: Field of Dreams

Best sports road trip: My Saturday...Braves vs. Reds Sunday Night...Cooperstown Monday through Thursday morning...Jennifer sings the Anthem Thursday night at Fenway... Sox/White Sox triple play and cycle in the same game for only the second time in baseball history...Saturday night Clemens strikes out 9 through 7 but the bullpen blows it and the crowd is furious.

Best game I've ever seen live: Suns/Spurs Game 5 2007 Western Semis (the game w/o Amare & Boris). Hated the outcome but loved the experience.


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