NBA Draft Lottery – Ping Pong Balls and Destiny Calls

Tuesday, May 15, at 8:30 PM ESPN will broadcast the NBA draft lottery, which will determine the order at the top of the 2018 draft. Let’s check out which teams are likely to get the biggest prizes in the draft and, yes, there are odds on it!

Draft Lottery Participants

There are 14 lottery teams which is also, not so coincidentally, the same number of teams that failed to make the playoffs. Why a draft lottery, you ask? Why not just do what the NFL does and give the top pick to the team with the worst record and so on down the line? Well, back in 1985 the NBA decided to remedy what they suspected could be or would be incentive to tank games down the stretch in order to get higher draft picks. That conduct would most assuredly impeach the integrity of the product and the league itself which has led to the perennial ping pong ball draft lottery. Below we will list the teams and their chances of getting the coveted No. 1 pick in the draft.

  1. Phoenix Suns – 25 percent of receiving the No.1 pick.
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – 19.9 percent

3 Dallas Mavericks – 13.8 percent

  1. Atlanta Hawks – 13.7 percent
  2. Orlando Magic – 8.8 percent
  3. Chicago Bulls – 5.3 percent
  4. Sacramento Kings – 5.3 percent
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) – 2.8 percent
  6. New York Knicks – 1.7 percent
  7. Philadelphia 76ers – 1.1 percent
  8. Charlotte Hornets – 0.8 percent
  9. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) – 0.7 percent
  10. Los Angeles Clippers – 0.6 percent
  11. Denver Nuggets – 0.5 percent

It should be noted that the 2019 draft will change from the current ball distribution to the following:

  1. 140 combinations, 14.0% chance of receiving the No. 1 pick.
  2. 140 combinations, 14.0% chance
  3. 140 combinations, 14.0% chance
  4. 125 combinations, 12.5% chance
  5. 105 combinations, 10.5% chance
  6. 90 combinations, 9.0% chance
  7. 75 combinations, 7.5% chance
  8. 60 combinations, 6.0% chance
  9. 45 combinations, 4.5% chance
  10. 30 combinations, 3.0% chance
  11. 20 combinations, 2.0% chance
  12. 15 combinations, 1.5% chance
  13. 10 combinations, 1.0% chance
  14. 5 combinations, 0.5% chance

Dancing in the Desert

Phoenix has the best chance of getting the top pick in the draft and should that happen then expect the Suns to pluck Arizona’s one-and-done freshman center Deandre Ayton. It makes sense on so many levels, not the least of which is the geographical synergy between his college and professional teams. He is an agile low post player with a 7-foot-1 frame who is also going to be 20 years old before the season begins, which is a bit older and ostensibly more mature than the average rising sophomore.

If the Suns get unlucky and do not get the first overall pick in the draft then they could do a lot worse than 6’11” Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State or power forward Marvin Bagley of Duke. If they opt to enhance their backcourt then the consensus best guards available in the draft are Slovenia’s Luka Doncic and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. It is a deep draft for big men and one that should net the Suns, as well as the Grizzlies and the Mavericks, a formidable force for the foreseeable future.

What are the Odds?

There is arithmetic involved when it comes to predicting the odds a team has to get the top pick in the draft. We all know that Phoenix has a 25 percent chance based on the 250 of 1000 ping pong balls they receive. The Grizzlies have the second-best chance with a 19.9 percent chance all the way down to the 14th slotted Denver Nuggets owning just a 0.4 percent opportunity.

But if we click over to Sportsbook Review, the sports betting industry’s watchdog and one equipped with the most current rating guide to the best online sportsbooks, we know that at least one of the A+ rated sportsbooks are hanging odds on how the draft lottery will play out. The most likely combination (Phoenix, Memphis, and Dallas) will get you a +5733 return on a $100 investment. There are literally hundreds of combinations listed but the favorite is the field at +2000 for any combination not listed on the board. So get on over to Sportsbook Review and see what the best bookmakers on the planet have to offer you!

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