Perhaps 2021 isn't the right year to be looking at conspiracy theories. Perhaps we've all been through far too much over the last 18 months to indulge one more phenomenon that isn't based in reality.
Or perhaps this is exactly what we need: a dose of satire, levity and paranoia into the minds of those fans who simply struggle to believe the NBA would leave it to chance that their future stars end up in any of the league's 28 markets. More than anything, it provides the perfect banter and feedback to blame someone instead of the bouncing of the balls when things don't go your way.
Every year I pen this piece: a look at the unique factors that would tell you how each team's victory (or lack thereof) in the draft lottery is indicative of the NBA offices and Adam Silver rigging the results to their benefit. Whether you take it as purely comic relief or as legitimate fuel on the conspiratory fire, it's always a fun break from the news cycle to get you primed for the lottery.
Throughout the pre-draft process, fans tend to ask the same question: who would be the best fit for our team needs? It's a constant team-first narrative that permeates all of professional sports, where loyalty is to the franchise and our only care is whether they win. It's not necessarily a poor priority to have; fandom is typically based on a geographical or emotional connection to an experience at a game that evokes memories and passion from one's past.
As someone who gets really invested in the prospect scouting side of things, I've tended to take a little different of an approach the last couple of years. Instead of hoping one team gets the best player for them, I've flipped the script. Now, I hope the prospect ends up in the on-court scenario that is best for their career.
Within my scouting, certain traits become evident to me that would pop at the next level in specific situations. Whether it's a need for continued skill development, so a stable environment and organization with track record of developing high-caliber players is paramount, or a certain skill that would surround the prospect to augment their game, I want the best outcome that can help these players succeed in the NBA.
It's time we looked at things through their lens. Today, we'll start down that path. Here's a list of best landing spots for some prospects who are just outside the top tier, a look at why the team is a match for the player, and whether such a proposition is plausible on draft night.