Three teams share the best odds at 14 percent: Knicks, Cavs and Suns. NBA.com detailed the new rules that were created to try to no longer incentivize tanking.
Under the revamped format, the NBA Draft Lottery will ensure that the team with the worst record will receive no worse than the fifth pick. Under the pre-2019 system, the team with the worst record would pick no lower than fourth.
The new system will level the odds at the top of the NBA Draft Lottery so that the teams with the three worst regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery. In the pre-2019 structure, the top seed had a 25 percent of winning the lottery, the second seed had a 19.9 percent and the third seed had a 15.6 percent.
The odds for the remaining participants in the 14-team lottery will be reduced gradually after the top three. For instance, the difference in lottery odds between the first three seeds (14 percent) and the fourth seed (12.5 percent) will be 1.5 percent.
For the mock lottery simulation we recently ran, the Bulls won the No. 1 pick with the fourth best odds. Be sure to check out our latest NBA mock draft with predictions for every pick through two rounds.
Winning the Lottery Means Drafting Zion Williamson
This is the rare year where there is a consensus No. 1 pick. Most years, there is a favorite for the No. 1 pick, but it is still up for debate. While there may be some posturing by the winning GM, whatever team wins the No. 1 pick is almost assuredly going to draft Zion Williamson.
The only exception may be if a team decides to trade the No. 1 pick. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony detailed why Williamson is a lock for the top pick.
Williamson emerged as both the best player in college basketball and the best long-term prospect in this draft class the moment he stepped on the court for Duke, making him the easy choice as the No. 1 pick. We’ve never seen a prospect quite like him in terms of his combination of productivity, athleticism, competitiveness, skill and feel for the game — not to mention the sheer star power he’ll bring to whatever NBA team is lucky enough to draft him.
Here is a look at the NBA draft lottery odds, per Tankathon.
NBA Draft Lottery Odds 2019: Chances to Win the No. 1 Pick
|1. NY Knicks||14%|
|2. Cleveland Cavs||14%|
|3. Phoenix Suns||14%|
|4. Chicago Bulls||12.5%|
|5. Atlanta Hawks||10.5%|
|6. Washington Wizards||9%|
|7. NOLA Pelicans||6%|
|8. Memphis Grizzlies||6%|
|9. Dallas Mavericks||6%|
|10. Minnesota T-Wolves||3%|
|11. LA Lakers||2%|
|12. Charlotte Hornets||1%|
|13. Miami Heat||1%|
|14. Boston Celtics (via Kings)||1%|