Once again, it's a race for the bottom in a desperate attempt to get off the bottom. In the NBA, you've got to be terrible in order to get a player in the draft with enough game-changing talent to turn around your franchise. At least, that's the way six teams with 13 wins or fewer through the first half the 2010-11 season hope it works.

But how much really changes year to year in the dark, murky depths of the NBA pond? Most of the teams currently there (Sacramento, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington) have been for a few seasons, each of them still in search of a player that can help pull them back to the surface of relevance, including the Wizards, who have one cornerstone in John Wall but know they still need another.

The inconvenient truth is that the 2011 draft class might not be the place to find one.

Even in Cleveland's post-LeBron James era, the first step of a happy marriage between the last-place Cavaliers and Duke guard Kyrie Irving is hardly preordained. Cleveland might need to win the lottery to get Irving, who still needs to get healthy.

And who goes next? Who knows.

Baylor forward Perry Jones has tremendous potential. But while his versatility is intriguing, that doesn't mean he'll transform into an effective rotation player in a way that his new, awful team will need him to be right away.

Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger might be an upscale and intact-ACLs version of DeJuan Blair but not quite the next coming of Charles Barkley. His measurements could be the most awaited news of the predraft cycle.

And foreign centers Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas both seem destined to be top lottery prizes, but are either of them the equivalent of winning Powerball or MegaMillions? At best, they may be foundation-worthy pieces like Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon, not mind-blowing game-changers like Blake Griffin or Kevin Durant.

To reverse NBA inertia, a team must get both, which requires far more luck than what it takes to win back the cost of a two-dollar scratch-off ticket.