NBA AM: Time For The NBA Draft Lottery
VIDEO OF THE DAY - Jamaal Franklin
Former San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin is currently recovering from an injured ankle, but will be back to working out for NBA teams soon. He talks about that and more in today's video of the day.Watch More Video Here
Time For The Lottery: The NBA Draft Lottery will take place tonight at roughly 8:00pm EST. The order of the 14 lottery picks will get finalized and the order of the 2013 NBA Draft will get locked into place. The Orlando Magic have the best odds at landing the top overall pick with a 25 percent chance of the ping pong balls producing a number combination belonging to the Magic, although they also have a 75 percent chance of the pick landing somewhere else.
The Magic were the last team with the worst overall record to land the top selection in 2004, when they drafted Dwight Howard, so it would be fitting for the Magic to land it again as they try and re-tool after trading Howard to the Lakers.
Each team in the lottery, the 14 non-playoff teams, gets a series of numbered sequences very much like lottery tickets. In total 1,000 combinations get assigned to teams based on a weighted system rewarding the worst team with the most numbers. A machine is used to produce random numbers using ping pong balls just like the state lotteries use. Numbers are drawn at random and then matched to a series of numbers posted on the wall where the drawing is held. The drawings are repeated until matches are made for the top three overall picks.
Last year it took five draws to produce three winners. 6-4-9-3 was the winning number for the New Orleans Pelicans last year, the Bobcats won the 2nd overall selection with a combination of 8-1-11-5 and the Wizards nabbed the third overall pick with a combination of 13-7-3-2.
Here is a look at the lottery teams and what their odds look like:
Orlando Magic – 20–62 – 250 combinations
Charlotte Bobcats – 21–61 – 199 combinations
Cleveland Cavaliers – 24–58 – 156 combinations
Phoenix Suns – 25–57 – 119 combinations
New Orleans Pelicans – 27–55 – 88 combinations
Sacramento Kings – 28–54 – 63 combinations
Detroit Pistons – 29–53 – 43 combinations
Washington Wizards – 29–53 – 28 combinations
Minnesota Timberwolves – 31–51 – 17 combinations
Portland Trail Blazers – 33–49 – 11 combinations
Philadelphia 76ers – 34–48 – 8 combinations
Toronto Raptors – 34–48 – 7 combinations
Dallas Mavericks – 41–41 – 6 combinations
Utah Jazz – 43–39 – 5 combinations
Once the draft order is set, most teams will being a grueling schedule of individual player workouts leading up the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27th in Brooklyn.
HOOPSWORLD will post the final Draft order for the lottery as the picks become known as well as an updated mock draft at the conclusion of the drawing, so make sure to swing back and see how the draft takes shape once the picks are known.
Warm Up Your Conspiracies: Every year right after the lottery selections are announced the inevitable jilted fan proclaims that NBA is fixed and the lottery is rigged. So before you set off on your “David Stern wanted…” storyline understand the process.
The numbered ping-pong balls used in the drawings are sealed in a box and kept in plain view for almost an hour before they are used to select the pick order.
The drawings of the numbers are done in front of more than 50 people when you count the 30 team representatives, NBA security staff and third party observes including members of the media.
The balls used to draw the numbers are never changed, so it’s the same series of balls for every selection, so the notion of “frozen balls” isn’t valid as it would produce the same sequence of numbers over and over, which hasn’t happened, even in the most egregious years when teams from nowhere land high unexpected picks.
Also factor in that the top overall pick means the world to a franchise, especially one sitting in that room. If anyone suspected foul play they wouldn’t keep that to themselves. The NBA doesn’t keep secrets well, especially not one in which a team feels wronged.
Also consider that typically three reporters are locked in the room during the entire process and every year they file a process story detailing how their team fared in the process. Having spoken with many of the reporters that have endured the lock-in process of the drawing, they all swear that the process is on the up and up. Equally, if they were able to “expose” the fix, they’d likely win awards, they just don’t see the system as riggable and I have talked with some jaded folks.
As for the question of “why don’t they televise it” – because the NBA sold it to ESPN and ESPN doesn’t believe it is good television. I have said for years that the proceedings should be tapped and placed on the web somewhere either at ESPN.com or NBA.com so that fans can see how the event really happens, however that wouldn’t create nearly the buzz that the conspiracies that follow the drawings produce.
Over the next week count how many times someone references the draft lottery in the context of a team getting cheated and then tell me the NBA doesn’t have the hype machine figured out.
Conspiracies are an easy out for not understanding the process. It’s easier to point to the “fix” rather than take the time to understand the process. It’s also easier to blame the league when your teams’ numbers don’t come up. Keep in mind that while a team like Orlando has a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick, they also have a 75 percent chance of not landing it – that’s the beauty of the NBA Draft Lottery.
We Want To Know:
The NBA Draft is just around the corner, so HOOPSWORLD has everything you need to get ready. Want the Top 100 Players? They are right here. How about detailed Draft Prospect profiles? Got those rights here too. Need some NBA Mock Drafts? Bookmark the NBA Draft page. Who is going to have Salary cap space? Checkout the most detailed and hyper accurate NBA salary data anywhere. The offseason is right around the corner and HOOPSWORLD has you covered.
Colangelo Out, Sort Of…: As Raptors president Bryan Colangelo made the rounds of the JW Marriott in Chicago during last week’s NBA Draft Combine, each stop to shake hands featured some kind of question about his future with the Raptors.
His standard response was simply “We want to be back…” but it was clear that he had little say or control over the process.
A candid and professional Colangelo said he simply wasn’t going to talk about his situation in the media and even given the chance to unload, he didn’t.
The Raptors had until yesterday to decide Colangelo contract future and rather than turn him lose, the Raptors and their ownership group Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, opted instead to pick up Colangelo’s contract option and re-assign him to a corporate non-basketball role, according to reports.
According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, minority owner Larry Tanenbaum may have been responsible for finding Colangelo a spot in the organization, but it’s being made clear that his days of calling the basketball shots in Toronto are likely over.
The Raptors have engaged an executive search firm to find a replacement for Colangelo and the top name being mentioned in Denver’s Masai Ujiri, whose contract in Denver expires at the end of June.
Nuggets president Josh Kroenke told reporters that he did not feel like re-signing Ujiri was going to be a problem, but with Masai fresh off winning the NBA’s Executive of the Year award and now having the deep-pocketed Raptors courting him, the price tag for Ujiri has surely gone way up.
Sources near the situation say Ujiri was one of the lowest-paid executives in the league, so it’s clear that either Denver or Toronto is going to give him a serious bump in salary.
Colangelo on the other hand will be in New York tonight representing the raptors at the NBA Draft Lottery, the belief is the Raptors will make a formal announcement of Colangelo’s new role in advance of the lottery drawing, ensuring that Colangelo gets overwhelmed with questions from the media in attendance.
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NBA Chats: There will be one NBA chats scheduled for today featuring Dr. Travis Heath, who will hold down his bi-weekly NBA Chat at 4pm EST. Travis is a practicing psychologist, a former consultant for the Timberwolves and a long-time contributor to HOOPSWORLD. You can always find the next upcoming chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.