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NBA Draft Lottery Odds - An Updated View from Basketball Prospectus

So this morning I posted an updated version of the NBA Power Tankings, only proceeded to give completely erroneous logic regarding how the final draft order would be determined.

For some reason I had it in my head that in the case of a tie in record, regular season record between "tied teams" would determine draft order, and if that too was a stalemate, only then, would the NBA resort to the good ol' coin toss.

(Insert incorrect buzzer noise here.)

No, as many readers pointed out on the site and via Twitter, the correct version goes like this:

In the event that teams finish with the same record, each tied team receives the average of the total number of combinations for the positions that they occupy. In 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers tied for the sixth worst record. The average of the 6th and 7th positions in the lottery was taken, resulting in each team getting 53 combinations (the average of 63 and 43). Should the average number not be an integer, a coin flip is then used to determine which team or teams receive the extra combination(s). The result of the coin flip is also used to determine who receives the earlier pick in the event that neither of the tied teams wins one of the first three picks via the lottery.

Got all that?


Essentially the Raps need to lose tomorrow night, hope teams like the Kings and Cavs win, and well, get some luck via coin flips and random number combinations.

While we wait for all of that unfold, here's a cool chart to play with courtesy of Basketball Prospectus. You can uncheck the boxes to the right of the graph to examine only certain teams' projected lottery odds, and you can download the chart to share with friends and co-workers.

"Hey Bob, put down that T Square and come and check this out! The Bobcats are SO going to get the fourth pick!"