2019 NBA Draft Order Tiebreaker Results

The NBA’s draft order is determined by the league’s reverse standings for that year, with the first four spots in the draft up for grabs via the lottery. However, when two teams finish the season with identical records, an additional step is necessary.

In order to determine which of those tied teams will move ahead of the other(s) in the draft order, the NBA conducts tiebreakers via random drawings. The league completed the random drawings for 2019’s tiebreakers today, and we have the results below. Let’s dive in…

Tiebreaker No. 1:

  • Teams: Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63)
  • Draft positions: 2-3
  • Winner: Cavaliers

Tiebreaker No. 2:

  • Teams: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies (33-49)
  • Draft positions: 7-9
  • Winner: Pelicans
  • Second place: Grizzlies
  • Note: Grizzlies’ pick will go to Celtics if it falls outside top eight; Mavericks’ pick will go to the Hawks if it falls outside top five.

Tiebreaker No. 3:

  • Teams: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets (39-43)
  • Draft positions: 12-14
  • Winner: Hornets
  • Second place: Heat
  • Note: Kings’ pick belongs to Celtics (or Sixers if it’s No. 1).

Tiebreaker No. 4:

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic (42-40)
  • Draft positions: 16-17
  • Winner: Magic

Tiebreaker No. 5:

  • Teams: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers (48-34)
  • Draft positions: 18-20
  • Winner: Pacers
  • Second place: Spurs
  • Note: Clippers’ pick belongs to Celtics.

Tiebreaker No. 6:

  • Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics (49-33)
  • Draft positions: 21-22
  • Winner: Thunder

Tiebreaker No. 7:

  • Teams: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets (53-29)
  • Draft positions: 25-26
  • Winner: Trail Blazers
  • Note: Rockets’ pick belongs to Cavaliers.

Teams’ lottery odds didn’t really change as a result of today’s tiebreakers. In instances where two or more lottery teams finish with identical records, the lottery combinations are split evenly among them, with the tiebreaker winner getting one extra combination if there’s an odd number.

However, today’s results were still important. As a result of ending up at No. 8, for instance, the Grizzlies now have a 57.4% chance of retaining their own top-eight protected pick, something they don’t really want to do unless it jumps into the top four.

The Celtics, who already have three first-round selections for 2019 and would prefer to roll that Memphis pick over to 2020, will get it if it falls outside of the top eight. There’s only a 42.6% chance that will happen. The Grizzlies’ result was the only good news today for the Celtics, who lost their other three tiebreakers.

The pre-lottery 2019 draft order for the first round is listed below. For more information on the lottery odds for the top 14 teams, be sure to check out our recap from Thursday, as well as our glossary entry on the draft lottery. This year’s lottery will take place on Tuesday, May 14.


  1. New York Knicks
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Chicago Bulls
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Washington Wizards
  7. New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Memphis Grizzlies
    • Note: The Celtics will receive this pick if it falls out of the top eight (42.6% chance).
  9. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
    • Note: The Mavericks will keep this pick if it moves up into the top four (26.2% chance).
  10. Minnesota Timberwolves
  11. Los Angeles Lakers
  12. Charlotte Hornets
  13. Miami Heat
  14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
    • Note: The Sixers will receive this pick if it moves up to No. 1 (1.0% chance).
  15. Detroit Pistons
  16. Orlando Magic
  17. Brooklyn Nets
  18. Indiana Pacers
  19. San Antonio Spurs
  20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder
  22. Boston Celtics
  23. Utah Jazz
  24. Philadelphia 76ers
  25. Portland Trail Blazers
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
  27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
  28. Golden State Warriors
  29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
  30. Milwaukee Bucks

Information from Tankathon.com was used in the creation of this post.

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6 thoughts on “2019 NBA Draft Order Tiebreaker Results

  1. rxbrgr

    Bummer for Boston that both their picks from others “lost” in each tiebreaker.

    • x%sure

      Boston seems to have won the crucial tiebreak with Memphis. This round anyway, if a 57% chance of losing can be called a win. Have to wait a month or two for the pingpong showdown.

      • hiflew

        Not really a win, but not a loss either. The Grizzlies were second in a three team tiebreak, the very definition of an average outcome. The Celtics weren’t 0-4 or 1-3, they were 0-3-1. Still a pretty bad day.

    • Guest617

      celts were expecting sac kings to land a top 5 lotto pick – they need to package thei picks and move up

  2. D$!LLKU$H-og

    I predicted this outcome for Boston a CPL days ago. I think they’ll keep the Grizz pick which is a good thing for them. I got a feeling Grizz are going in top 5. The jump to the front usually happens around pick 8. Either them or NOP will move up. I got:

    1-Cavs
    2-Suns
    3-Grizzlies
    4-Knicks
    5-Bulls
    6-Hawks
    7-Pelicans
    8-Wizards
    9-Hawks
    10-14 – MINN, LAL, CHA, MIA, BOS

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