The NBA Draft Lottery isn’t until May 16, but the ping-pong ball fun got started on Tuesday when the league broke all the necessary tiebreakers for the lottery odds and 16 non-lottery spots in the draft. In total, there were five ties broken on Tuesday by way of the all powerful ping-pong ball machine.
The only lottery tie saw the Timberwolves edge ahead of the Knicks for the No. 6 spot in the lottery odds. Both teams will have a 5.3% chance at winning the lottery, but if neither team makes it to the Top 3, it will be Minnesota that goes ahead of New York in the draft. The other ties decided the fates of picks 15-20 (three different tiebreakers) and picks 23-26 (a four-way tie). Portland came out ahead of Chicago for the 15th pick, while Milwaukee earned the 17th pick over Indiana, and Atlanta earned the 19th pick over Memphis (conveyed to Portland). Toronto, Utah, Orlando, and Portland (via Cleveland) will be the order of picks 23-26 after the four-way tie was broken.
The Trail Blazers will own three picks in the back half of the draft, with their own at 15 and picks from Memphis and Cleveland and 20 and 26. So, for those looking for the team that will be the most active on draft night as far as trades, that’s probably your winner. Despite having the league’s worst record, the Nets are now locked into the 22nd and 27th picks due to the Celtics holding swap rights. The Kings will have two mid-lottery picks with the 8th and 10th best lottery odds, and Sixers fans will be hoping the Lakers fall out of the top 3 and that pick conveys to Philadelphia to give them two high lottery selections.