The 2021-22 NBA season has been very exciting thus far, but some teams already have double-digit losses.
Unfortunately, it seems that these teams and their fans are already looking forward to the NBA draft lottery.
Chet Holmgren, the seven-footer out of Gonzaga, is the projected No. 1 overall selection.
The three worst teams in the league this year will have the best odds at the No. 1 pick.
They each will have a 14 percent chance.
So, who are the teams that are headed for top lottery odds?
Here are the top three.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
Without Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans have been the worst team in basketball.
They have the league’s worst record, the worst point differential, and have lost eight straight contests.
Here is some more bad information for Pelicans fans.
The Pelicans are 1-11.
Their one win? Against the soon-to-be 3-7 T’Wolves who have lost 6 straight after tonight.
They were 7-10 before getting loss 11 last season.
Ties franchise-worst start in 2015-16. #WBD
— KING NBA Stats (@NBAStatsKing) November 11, 2021
Last year, Williamson and Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans to a 31-41 finish.
The Pelicans were 10th in lottery odds and ended up selecting Ziaire Williams with the No. 10 pick, and they sent him to Memphis.
On the bright side, New Orleans acquired Jonas Valančiūnas, who has been among the league’s best in the following categories:
- 18th in free throws made and free throw percentage
- 20th in field goals made
- And finally, a surprise: NBA leader in 3-point percentage (.545)
It is early and he has only attempted 22 shots from downtown, but Pelicans fans can at least have some excitement about their new center.
In 2019, New Orleans won the draft lottery and selected Williamson, who is on the verge of being thought of as a bust.
The name Greg Oden comes to mind when thinking about how often Williamson is sitting instead of playing.
The franchise may have to be hoping for that draft luck once again in 2022.
2. Houston Rockets
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets have lost an NBA-worst nine games in a row.
On Wednesday night, those who turned on ESPN were surprised to see two teams that had one win each tipping off.
The 1-8 Detroit Pistons took on the 1-9 Rockets in a battle of the No. 1 and No. 2 picks.
Cade Cunningham & Jalen Green each dropped 20+ points, the 1st time the top 2 picks from the same draft scored 20 points each in their first meeting since Tim Duncan vs Keith Van Horn in 1998, h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/qE1jDMOrI5
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 11, 2021
However, Cunningham was more efficient, as he and Jerami Grant led Detroit to its second win of the season.
The loss gave the Rockets their 10th loss of 2021-22, and the only NBA team with a worse record this season is the Pelicans.
However, it is Houston that is expected to finish with the league’s worst record, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions.
It appears that Stephen Silas’ squad will miss the postseason for the second straight season.
This comes after eight consecutive years in the playoffs.
The post-James Harden era is going to require patience from Rockets fans.
1. Detroit Pistons
Even with the Wednesday night victory, the worst of the Eastern Conference has been the Pistons.
They are hoping to see a big first season from Cunningham.
He seems to be shaking off that sprained right ankle that sidelined him at the beginning of the season.
He, Grant, and Saddiq Bey will have to carry this bottom-ranked offense that is struggling early in the season.
Grant enters his second year with the Pistons after sporting a career-high 22.3 points per game last season.
Dwane Casey finished each of the last two seasons with 20 wins.
The fact that his Pistons are looking at top 2022 lottery odds is not a good situation for Casey’s future in Detroit.