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These are basketball rumors from two days ago. For the most recent stories click here.

After reading today's Basketball Rumors talk on the InsideHoops basketball forum where hardcore fans hang 24/7 talking hoops.

NBA Rumors for Tuesday, May 19

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 p.m. ET. More stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery, where ping-pong balls supplant basketballs as the tools of determining supremacy, will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, May 19 and will be televised on ESPN at approximately 8:30 p.m. EDT. The 31st annual NBA Draft Lottery will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2015 NBA Draft. InsideHoops

The actual Lottery procedure will take place in a separate room just prior to the national broadcast on ESPN. Select media members, NBA officials and representatives of the participating teams and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will be in attendance for the drawing. InsideHoops

Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Prior to the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams. The lottery machine is manufactured by the Smart Play Company, a leading manufacturer of state lottery machines throughout the United States. Smart Play also weighs, measures and certifies the ping-pong balls prior to the drawing. InsideHoops

The drawing process occurs in the following manner: All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for 20 seconds; then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds, and then second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the number one pick. The same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second pick and then again for the third pick. InsideHoops

The order of selection for the teams that do not win one of the top three picks will be determined by inverse order of their regular-season record. Thus, Minnesota can pick no lower than fourth, New York (17-65) no lower than fifth and Philadelphia (18-64) no lower than sixth. InsideHoops

nba rumors The Lakers have won more games than any other NBA franchise, so it's no surprise that they're rare visitors to the draft lottery. In fact, Tuesday’s 31st annual lottery will mark just their fourth appearance -- but second consecutive appearance -- since the NBA created it in 1985. That’s the second-fewest appearances among NBA teams behind the San Antonio Spurs, who have gone three times but haven’t been since they drafted Tim Duncan in 1997. ESPN LA

For perspective, every other NBA team has made at least seven lottery appearances, and the Lakers’ fellow Staples Center tenants, the Clippers, have made an NBA-high 22 trips. So if Lakers fans aren’t too familiar with how the whole process works, they’re forgiven. After all, they’re more used to their favorite team competing for a championship at this time of year than praying ping-pong balls bounce their way. ESPN LA

For example, the Minnesota Timberwolves finished with the league’s worst record, so they’ll have the most combinations, 250, meaning they’ll have a 25 percent chance at the top overall pick. The Oklahoma City Thunder, meanwhile, have the best record of any team in the lottery, so they’ll have the fewest combinations, five. ESPN LA

nba rumors The Jazz’s biggest need now is getting a stretch four or five. The biggest weakness last season was the point guard position, but hopefully that will improve by internal development. In this year’s draft, the Jazz will most likely pick 12th unless the basketball gods smile upon them with a top three pick in the lottery. Most mock drafts don’t have a point guard being drafted around 12, so the Jazz will be looking at drafting a big versus a wing. Deseret News

If the Jazz won the lottery, Karl-Anthony Towns would probably be the best pick. He can play inside and out and is a good defender. But getting a guy like him who is the whole package is probably not going to happen because of their draft number. Here’s a breakdown of the top four wing players and bigs who could be available when the Jazz draft. Deseret News

University of Arizona’s Stanley Johnson. GMs are split on Johnson: some have him as high as fifth, but others think he’ll be later in the lottery. Johnson is listed as 6-foot-7 and 237 pounds with an NBA-ready body (unlike Jazz point guard Dante Exum). He is a solid shooter, hitting 37.1 percent of his threes in college, an elite defender, and has a great motor. That motor can get him in trouble when he plays out of control, which leads to sloppy basketball. Deseret News

On Tuesday, the Nuggets have a 4.3 percent chance to get the top-overall pick for the 2015 draft. Denver has never started from the No. 7 position before the lottery, however several names from teams that have that began in that slot have been in Nuggets uniforms, including George McCloud, Andre Miller, Kenyon Martin, Nene Hilario and Randy Foye. Denver Post Blog

nba rumors “I would say in the eight years of my career, the eighth year was pretty much the toughest one from a personal standpoint,” said Gortat, who completed the first of a five-year, $60 million contract. “I had some issues during the season and that definitely didn’t help me to focus on basketball. That part is on me, definitely on me. I can’t blame anybody for that. I’m not going to talk about those issues. That’s why we call this personal business.” Washington Post Blog

“As much as I love Nene, and I think Nene understands this too, I would love to play with a stretch-four, with a guy who shoots the ball from the three-point line,” Gortat said. “Because that automatically gives me room under the basket to operate and gives me more opportunity to play pick-and-rolls and roll to the paint where the paint is open.” Washington Post Blog

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge underwent successful surgery today to repair the injured radial collateral ligament of his left thumb. Dr. Thomas J. Graham performed the procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Aldridge is expected to be able to return basketball activity in approximately eight weeks. InsideHoops

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