2020/21 NBA Reverse Standings Update

Throughout the 2020/21 NBA season, Hoops Rumors is maintaining a feature that allows you to keep an eye on the tentative 2021 draft order. Our 2020/21 Reverse Standings tool, which lists the NBA’s 30 teams from worst to first, is updated daily to reflect the outcomes of the previous night’s games.

Our Reverse Standings are essentially a reflection of what 2021’s draft order would look like with no changes to lottery position. We’ve noted each club’s odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick, based on the league’s current lottery format.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Draft Lottery]

In instances where two non-playoff teams or two playoff teams have identical records, the order in our standings isn’t necessarily definitive — for draft purposes, the NBA breaks ties via random drawings, so those drawings would happen at the end of the year.

Of course, the 14 non-playoff teams all draft before the 16 playoff teams, even if some non-playoff teams have better records than those that made the postseason. Our reverse standings account for playoff seeding, though for now they assume that the Nos. 7 and 8 teams in each conference will earn those final two postseason spots. Since the NBA’s new play-in format opens the door for the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds to sneak into the postseason, we may have to account for a little movement in the draft order at season’s end.

Traded first-round picks are included via footnotes. For example, the note next to Golden State’s pick says the Warriors will send their pick to the Thunder if it’s not in the top 20. As of today, the Warriors’ pick projects to be exactly 20th, meaning that pick wouldn’t change hands.

The Timberwolves are currently in the driver’s seat at the “top” of our reverse standings — their 7-25 record giving them a 2.5-game cushion on the second-worst team, the 9-22 Pistons, with the 11-21 Cavaliers up next. It will be interesting to see whether that race tightens now that Chris Finch has taken the head coaching reins from Ryan Saunders in Minnesota.

Although the league’s bottom three teams will all have an equal chance at the No. 1 overall pick (14.0%) and a top-four selection (52.1%), finishing atop the reverse standings would still benefit the Wolves — the NBA’s worst team can’t fall further than the No. 5 pick, while the third-worst team could end up selecting as low as No. 7.

The Rockets‘ and Thunder‘s spots in the reverse standings are also worth keeping an eye on over the course of the year. Oklahoma City has the ability to swap first-round picks with Houston, but only if the Rockets’ pick doesn’t land in the top four. Currently, Houston is tied for the NBA’s fourth-worst record, while the Thunder are tied for the league’s sixth-worst mark.

Our Reverse Standings tracker can be found at anytime on the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features” on our desktop site, or on the “Features” page in our mobile menu. It’s a great resource not just for monitoring a team’s draft position, but also for keeping an eye on whether or not traded picks with protections will be changing hands in 2021. So be sure to check back often as the season progresses!

Note: Mobile users are advised to turn their phones sideways when viewing the Reverse Standings in order to see team records and lottery odds.

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12 thoughts on “2020/21 NBA Reverse Standings Update

  1. lovesexland

    I hate the new lottery system and the less of a possibility for bad teams to get top picks. It takes away from teams that are truly bad. For example, the Pelicans and Grizzlies didn’t deserve Zion or Ja. They both had 33 wins that season, 14 more than the Cavs and Suns and 16 more than the Knicks. The Cavs didn’t tank, we were truly horrible (I assume Knicks and Suns were too).

    Now the Pelicans and Grizzlies are turning the corner with those franchise players while teams like the Knicks never get high picks until Barrett because of a ping pong ball. (Luckily they are figuring it out now).

    Leaving the possibility of getting a franchise player up to chance doesn’t justify teams who aren’t bad by chance or choice. The lottery should still exist, but the percentages shouldn’t now favor the worst 4-14 teams even more.

    And ik, I’m aware of my bias in hating the lottery because it hasn’t helped the Cavs but still. This is all just my opinion.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      This yr just being in lottery should net a starter. Lots of wings in draft. A top 10 pick could be a star. Gotta draft right bro, this is the yr to be optimistic.

      • lovesexland

        I’m with you, but also it’s easier to draft right if you are the 1st or second pick….unless your Chris Grant and the Cavs in 2013 lol

    • Sillivan

      In 2019

      Knicks 17 wins
      Cavs 19 wins
      Pelicans 33 wins, Zion
      Grizzlies 33 wins, Morant

      Bottom 5 teams
      Cavs Wizards Pistons are very smart
      They don’t trade away real Firsts
      Wolves and Rockets take risks

      • lovesexland

        And it didn’t help the NBA either. Knicks = biggest NBA market. Cavs also have a bigger market than the Pelicans and Grizzlies, who are two of the small TV markets in the league. Zion and Ja on those teams hurts viewership and league sales (jerseys/ticket sales, etc.)

        But it’s whatever

          • lovesexland

            And my whole argument is around the worst teams winning the lottery, not the biggest markets….read first, comment second

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Considering how the season is going so far. TWolves would be wise to finish top 3. So they can keep their pick. Top 3 pick this yr is probably better than Edwards. Also Warriors wind up with a lottery pick 4-10. It will be a very good player. I sure wonder if they make a major trade. Considering their window is closing. This pick n Wiggins can bring in major talent. Then there is the OKC, Rockets watch. Something to watch too. To me this is a very good draft. The whole 1st rd is loaded.

    • I am not sure if the draft will be loaded. 2020 had a lot of better players than many experts said there would be. most likely because they came out early because of covid. Edwards has a lot of talent he just needs to improve his shooting which can be fixed. Best player to be drafted will probably come from the new G league team.

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