Previewing the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery: Odds and pick scenarios

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The NBA will hold its Draft Lottery in Manhattan on Tuesday, and while there are reasons why all 14 teams participating can feel good about their chances, here are the actual odds that will factor into how things shake out.

TEAM RECORD CHANCES 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
Minnesota Timberwolves 16-66 250 .250 .215 .178 .357
New York Knicks 17-65 199 .199 .188 .171 .319 .123
Philadelphia 76ers 18-64 156 .156 .157 .156 .226 .265 .040
Los Angeles Lakers 21-61 119 .119 .126 .133 .099 .351 .160 .012
Orlando Magic 25-57 88 .088 .097 .107 .261 .360 .084 .004
Sacramento Kings 29-53 63 .063 .071 .081 .440 .305 .040 .001
Denver Nuggets 30-52 43 .043 .049 .058 .600 .232 .018 .000
Detroit Pistons 32-50 28 .028 .033 .039 .724 .168 .008 .000
Charlotte Hornets 33-49 17 .017 .020 .024 .813 .122 .004 .000
Miami Heat 37-45 11 .011 .013 .016 .870 .089 .002 .000
Indiana Pacers 38-44 8 .008 .009 .012 .907 .063 .001 .000
Utah Jazz 38-44 7 .007 .008 .010 .935 .039 .000
Phoenix Suns 39-43 6 .006 .007 .009 .960 .018
Oklahoma City Thunder 45-37 5 .005 .006 .007 .982

 

There are two scenarios where teams could lose their picks, depending on where they fall, thanks to prior trade agreements.

The Sixers will get the Lakers pick if it should fall to sixth or seventh, and Philadelphia could also end up with Miami’s pick (via dealing Thaddeus Young to Minnesota) if it falls outside the top 10.

As for the lottery itself, it goes down like this (via NBA.com):

– 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.

– 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.

– 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.

– The actual drawing happens privately before the nationally televised broadcast, but not because there’s anything nefarious taking place. It’s completed in a room full of league and team executives, as well as a few members of the media. And as you can see below, it’s incredibly boring to watch.

The Draft Lottery will be broadcast from the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton Midtown hotel, and can be seen tonight on ESPN beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.