The NBA Draft offers a unique quirk not he biblical proverb: “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first,” that most professional sports use to decide the order of the draft.
Usually, if you lose the most, you pick first. Win the championship, you pick last. It’s an attempt to spread the wealth and create a little more parity in the league, keeping teams in traditionally large markets from treating other teams like minor league squads.
The NBA has the lottery, though. Tanking the season only guarantees you the best odds to get the drafts top selection, not the selection itself.
Today, the league used the time-tested lottery ping-pong machine to help break an tie-breakers that exist between two teams, and set the odds for each team to receive the top selection through the lottery.
1. Boston (via Brooklyn); (25%)
2. Phoenix; (19.9%)
3. L.A. Lakers (conveys to Philadelphia if outside Top 3); (15.6%)
4. Philadelphia; (11.9%)
5. Orlando; (8.8%)
6. Minnesota; (5.3%)
7. New York; (5.3%)
8. Sacramento (Philadelphia owns rights to pick swap if higher); (2.8%)
9. Dallas; (1.7%)
10. Sacramento (via New Orleans, top-3 protected); (1.1%)
11. Charlotte; (0.8%)
12. Detroit; (0.7%)
13. Denver; (0.6%)
14. Miami; (0.5%)
20. Portland (via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Brooklyn (via Washington)
25. Orlando (via LA Clippers)
26. Portland (via Cleveland)
27. Brooklyn (swap with Boston)
28. L.A. Lakers (via Houston)
29. San Antonio
30. Utah (via Golden State)
The boon of the draft belongs to the Boston Celtics, who are not only the top seed in the Eastern Conference this season, but also hold the best chance at picking first overall on May 16.
The pick comes via a trade with Boston, who now chooses No. 27 overall. The poor get poorer.
Of the teams that failed to make the playoffs, the Miami Heat hold the worst chance at getting the first overall selections, with only a half-percentage point odds. However, at one point this past season, they held that same percentage chance of making the playoffs, and only failed to do so because of a tie-breaker with the Chicago Bulls.
Who will be take first overall is still a matter of contention. There is no obvious choice at the top spot in this years draft. Lacking a Lebron James type player, this draft figures to be full of depth throughout with a number of bargains to be had for the teams choosing later in the first round.