All Aboard the Tank? Some Numbers to Know

Published: January 10, 2014

On this site, we try to provide information on everything a Pelican fan might want to know (and even some things they have no interest in knowing). The fact is, that while some fans are sick of losing in order to get better draft picks, some now see it as a necessary evil with the recent injuries to Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday. Whether you agree or not, let’s take a look at some numbers relevant to the discussion.

– The Pelicans pick is top-5 protected. This means that if the Pelicans land picks 1-5, they keep it. If not, it goes to Philadelphia. This continues every year through 2019 until Philly gets one of our picks. If we somehow are slated to pick somewhere between 1-5 every year from now until then, Philly will get our second rounder in 2020 as the last bit of compensation for the Jrue Holiday trade.

– The teams with the most and second most ping pong balls are guaranteed to get a top-5 pick.

– Third most balls, and you have a 96% chance. 4th most gives you an 82.8% chance. 5th most gives you a 55.2% chance.

– After that, there is a big dip. 6th most balls, and you got a 21.3% chance of keeping the pick, 7th most is a 15% chance, and 8th most is a 10% chance. After that, the chances are incredibly slim – between 1.8 and 5.1 percent, depending on where you land.

– On average, over the past five years, the 4th worst team finishes with around 25 wins. 5th worst is around 27.

– The Pelicans currently have 15 wins and would need to go 10-38 the rest of the way to likely finish with the 3rd or 4th most balls. Basically, they will have to be as bad as the Milwaukee Bucks have been so far this season to have a good chance at keeping their pick.

– Joel Embiid is a legit 7-footer with a 7’5″ wingspan and top level agility and athleticism for his size.

– The Pelicans are 3-9 without Ryan Anderson this year. If they continue that pace and Ryno is out for the year , they will win 12 more games this year (27 total).

– Brian Roberts will likely start at point guard for at least the next month or so. No numbers, just thought I would throw that in there.

– Jabari Parker is a 6’8″ SF with a 7 foot wingspan that is currently putting up 20 points per game for Duke, and is a legitimate Player of the Year candidate as a Freshman.

– According to Ryan Schwan’s Draft Value chart, you have a 38.6% chance of getting a star with a top-5 pick in a normal year, and a 21% chance of getting a solid starter.

– Andrew Wiggins is the same height and has the same wingspan as Jabari Parker, but also displays a once-in-a-generation type of athleticism.

– Ben Gordon is making $13.2 million dollars this year on an expiring contract. That means that he can be traded straight up for Eric Gordon.

– The Pelicans play 18 games between now and the All-Star break (the earliest Jrue and/or Ryan figure to be back). 10 of those games are against non-playoff teams that the Pelicans figure to be competing against for a top-5 pick if they decide to go that way.

– And the final number is 100. As in, this is 100% depressing that some are even considering rooting against the Pelicans for yet another season. But honestly, how can you blame those who do? The playoffs are practically impossible and we can’t even root for the core to work on ¬†learning to play together, because the core never gets a chance to do just that. At this point, you have to ask: If keeping the pick isn’t the best possible outcome this year, what is? Just so sad.