Final 2017 NBA Draft Lottery Odds and Takeaways
14 teams will have a chance to take home the crown jewel: the first overall pick in a talent laden NBA Draft.
For some teams it was a transparent race to the bottom, while for other teams injuries dictated their trajectory and final positions in the standings. Whether it’s a Machiavellian tank-job, an injury induced free fall, underperforming, or some combination of the three that contributed to missing the playoffs, the lottery-bound 14 teams will have the opportunity to land the top pick in the NBA Draft.
In approximately one month, on May 16, one franchise will be blessed with first overall pick in a draft that NBA pundits are calling chockfull of talent.
The following table displays the 14 teams in the lottery, their record, their no. 1 odds, and their top-3 odds courtesy of Tankathon.com.
Admittedly, this is a condensed version of the lottery odds, and still it’s a bit daunting. (Here’s a link to an image of all the scenarios and odds, if you’re so inclined.) In the NBA Lottery, the landing of ping pong balls, to some extent, controls a team’s fate. Below are three teams that will be on the edge of their seats at the draft lottery:
This year the Boston Celtics (via a pick swap with the Brooklyn Nets) have the best odds (25%) to land the first pick. Boston, the no. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, is guaranteed at least a top-four pick. Few teams have won at least 45 games and had a top-5 pick in the draft based on the research of The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. Luckily for Boston, they accomplished that feat for the second straight season.
The penultimate draft pick from the KG-Pierce trade has a chance to be something special. Meanwhile, #Netspick lives on for one more season when Brooklyn sends their final care package, a last reminder of former GM Billy King’s costly gamble.
Los Angeles Lakers
Few organizations can be angry that there team is winning. Unfortunately for the Lakers, that couldn’t be closer to the truth. Their untimely five-game winning streak that stretched from April 2–11, coupled with the Phoenix Suns’ nosedive, propelled LA towards its worst case scenario.
If the Lakers’ 2017 first-round pick lands outside the top-3, they will convey it to Philadelphia and an unprotected 2019 first-round pick to Orlando. The odds are not in LA’s favor — they have a 53% chance of surrendering two first-round picks.
Sacramento Kings: The poor Kings are not in the clear yet. They acquired Buddy Hield, a few spare parts, and New Orleans’ top-3 protected 2017 1st-round pick. (Kings fans, don’t worry too much: There’s only a 4% chance NOLA ends up in the top-3.) That’s not Sacramento’s only obligation in the draft.
The Sixers own the rights to swap picks with the Kings should the pick fall within the top-10. If the pick falls outside that threshold, the Chicago Bulls will receive it. Should the unlikely scenario of Sactown getting a better pick than Philly, expect the latter to invoke the pick swap.