Some NBA franchises are considered lottery teams no matter what because of their infamous futility. Others are deemed perennial losers because the team's playoff status seems like a fleeting moment in league history.
If you're a Los Angeles Clippers fan, then you root for the aforementioned: a team that's made Secaucus, N.J., an offseason vacation home. Today, the Clippers will make their 20th lottery selection in the 25 years the system has been in place.
The Grizzlies own the latter sentiment.
They've been a member of the lottery club in all but three seasons of their eight-year Memphis existence. A segment of the Grizzlies' faithful and national onlookers have relegated the club's three-year postseason run to short-term memory.
And the pessimists have a point. All that matters today is that the Griz are in the lottery for a Memphis franchise third consecutive season. So how does a franchise dig itself out of such despair?
The simple answer is drafting well.
Teams mired in the NBA lottery tend to make questionable -- OK, flat-out bad -- choices with their picks.
"You have to draft good players that will stick or provide raw material you can trade to accelerate the (rebuilding) process," Griz general manager Chris Wallace said. "The key thing is that when you get a high pick, you just can't blow that pick. The guy has to be a high producer. If there is a great player when you select, you can't miss that.
"If some guy goes on, becomes a multiple-year All Star and is one of the true greats in the league and your guy is anywhere from a bust to just a nice player, then it was a mistake. The first thing I do when judging the draft is ask myself did we miss a great player."
As much as mismanagement figures into team rebuilding, luck does play a factor. The San Antonio Spurs have won four titles and been lottery-free since 1997 when they selected Tim Duncan. By contrast, the Clippers were the unfortunate ones who took Michael Olowokandi No. 1 in 1998.
One year, Shaquille O'Neal could be waiting for the lottery winner. In another, Kwame Brown might be the prize.
"What happens to most of the teams in the lottery lately is that there haven't been a whole lot of impact players," Griz coach Lionel Hollins said. "Cleveland got an impact player (LeBron James) when they had the No. 1 pick (in 2003). You're hoping you get the player that has the talent to carry everybody else. When you draft young players, it takes time for them to develop and learn how to play the NBA game and how to win in the NBA. It's a process when you build through the draft."
Well documented is the Grizzlies' preference to build a winner with a three-year plan of stock-piling talent through the NBA draft. Team insiders will tell you that the Griz are trying to emulate the Portland Trail Blazers.
Despite injuries to former No. 1 pick Greg Oden, the Blazers' future is bright based on draftees Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Sergio Rodriguez, Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez and Travis Outlaw.
The rub is that it took five years of drafting and trading and free-agent signing to get the Blazers back in the playoffs.
We may not be able to get griffin but were gonna get someone with the number 2 pick!!! I dont think its a bad thing to emulate portland. Ofcourse I think we have a head start. Which it took portland at least three years to get going.