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2017 NBA Draft Lottery: Green With Envy?

Which team has the best chance of hitting big lotto?

This could turn out to be a really great year for the Boston Celtics, and not just if they win the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery.

Boston played in and won Game 7 of their playoff series last night, and tonight, you might see the C’s take another step forward. They are potentially the team with the best odds in the draft lottery.

Now, you may see that and say, “what the hell happened to the Brooklyn Nets?” You might actually be the first person who has ever asked that question in any capacity. The Nets have the greatest odds to grab the number one pick, but Boston has the option to swap out their pick with Brooklyn’s. This came about in the 2013 trade in which the Nets acquired Pierce and Garnett, amongst others. In other words, if the Nets grab the top spot, Brooklyn’s pick is as good as gone.

Even if the Nets/Celtics ball doesn’t win, place, or show, it’ll mean no worse than the number four selection. I wouldn’t count on Brooklyn getting to keep that pick.

2017 NBA Draft Lottery: The Odds

1. BOS-Boston Celtics Boston Celtics (from BKN) 25.0%
2. PHX-Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns 19.9%
3. LAL-Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Lakers 15.6%
4. PHI-Philadelphia 76ers Philadelphia 76ers 11.9%
5. ORL-Orlando Magic Orlando Magic 8.8%
T6. MIN-Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Timberwolves 5.3%
T6. NYK-New York Knicks New York Knicks 5.3%
8. SAC-Sacramento Kings Sacramento Kings 2.8%
9. DAL-Dallas Mavericks Dallas Mavericks 1.7%
10. SAC-Sacramento Kings Sacramento Kings (from NO) 1.1%
11. CHA-Charlotte Hornets Charlotte Hornets 0.8%
12. DET-Detroit Pistons Detroit Pistons 0.7%
13. DEN-Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets 0.6%
14. MIA-Miami Heat Miami Heat 0.5%

2017 NBA Draft Lottery: The Facts

In 32 prior lotteries, the worst team in the NBA has only won six times. One of them was in 2003, when Cleveland, tied for the worst record, won and drafted LeBron James.

The worst overall team in the NBA won the top pick in the draft in each of the last two lotteries.

In 1993, the Orlando Magic won the NBA Draft Lottery despite entering with the 11th-worst record. At the time, there were 27 NBA clubs, and therefore Orlando had the worst odds of any lottery team. No team better than 11th has ever won the lottery (sorry Detroit, Denver, and Miami).

Orlando’s probability of winning that 1993 lottery was 1.52%, still the lowest of any winner.

Over the past decade, three teams with a sub-3 percent chance have won: the Chicago Bulls (2008), the Los Angeles Clippers (2011), and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014). The Los Angeles Clippers traded the 2011 pick to Cleveland.

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