Latest On The NBA’s Lottery Plans

The NBA is expected to finalize a proposal on Thursday that will send 22 teams to Orlando in order to finish out the season. It will be a unique experience for a number of reasons — one interesting wrinkle will be how the league determines the lottery odds for 2020 without all of the clubs playing the same number of games.

The Warriors, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets will likely be locked into the top eight lottery slots, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The order within the top eight has yet to be determined, but the structure means the Wizards couldn’t go 0-8 this summer when the season resumes and land a better position in the lottery than those teams that won’t be playing.

It’s “part of the tradeoff” for the franchises that won’t be given a chance to resume their campaigns, per the source. Another scenario discussed was freezing the lottery as it stands, allowing no movement up or down by any team, even those in the 9-14 positions. Either way, the top eight are expected to be assured of their standing.

Both the lottery and the combine had been postponed indefinitely, though they are now expected to take place in August. Nothing is finalized as of this writing, including the proposal to return.

Here’s a look at the odds of each lottery position as well as the order of teams, should the league go with the current standings:

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
GSW 14 13.4 12.7 12 47.9
CLE 14 13.4 12.7 12 27.8 20
MIN 14 13.4 12.7 12 14.8 26 7.1
ATL 12.5 12.2 11.9 11.5 7.2 25.7 16.8 2.2
DET 10.5 10.5 10.6 10.5 2.2 19.6 26.7 8.8 0.6
NYK 9 9.2 9.4 9.6 8.6 29.6 20.6 3.8 0.2
CHI 7.5 7.8 8.1 8.5 19.7 34.1 12.9 1.3 >0
CHA 6 6.3 6.7 7.2 34.5 32.1 6.7 0.4 >0
WSH* 4.5 4.8 5.2 5.7 50.7 25.9 3 0.1 >0
PHX* 3 3.3 3.6 4 65.9 18.9 1.2 >0 >0
SAS* 2 2.2 2.4 2.8 77.6 12.6 0.4 >0
SAC** 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.8 86.1 7.6 0.1
NO** 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7 92.0 2.3
POR* 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 97.6

*Will play eight more regular season games

** The Kings and Pelicans have matching 28-36 records and would be subject to a random tiebreaker to determine which team gets the No. 12 slot and which gets No. 13. Their spots in this list (and their odds) could be flipped if the NBA ends up freezing the standings to determine the lottery’s order.

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5 thoughts on “Latest On The NBA’s Lottery Plans

  1. Skip, Tampa

    Top 8 lottery are a lock now with 9-14 to be determined. Seems only fair with some small odds changes based on games played.
    Vegas should get the Combine in August and Summer League in September.
    To me the biggest questions left is, will the NBA open the trade window back up for players to be playoff eligible and will 2 Way players be allowed in ????

    • wagner13

      2-way players should be allowed to play, as teams didn’t receive the opportunity to convert them to full contracts. The Thunder in particular would probably prioritize having Dort for the postseason

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