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NBA Draft: Full lottery probabilities after coin flip results

Lots of little things lined up today to give NBA fans a clearer picture of what's going to happen in the near future . . . or maybe not.


The NBA Draft is huge news, and the Draft Lottery will be held on May 20th. Today, April 18th, we had something lead us up to that point in time, the coin flips for tied teams were held, and draft spots (for non-lotto teams) and draft seeds going into the lotto (for non-playoff teams) were finalized. It's exciting. For the sake of the lottery we were worried about the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics. For the sake of the rest of the world, well, there were flips for a bunch of other teams too.

Here's how the first round looks right now:

Team Notes Team Notes
1 Milwaukee Bucks * 16 Chicago Bulls via CHA
2 Philadelphia 76ers * 17 Boston Celtics via BKN
3 Orlando Magic * 18 Phoenix Suns
4 Utah Jazz * 19 Chicago Bulls
5 Boston Celtics * 20 Toronto Raptors
6 Los Angeles Lakers * 21 Oklahoma City Thunder via, DAL, via HOU, via LAL
7 Sacramento Kings * 22 Memphis Grizzlies
8 Detroit Pistons * Goes to CHA if higher than 8 23 Utah Jazz via GSW
9 Cleveland Cavaliers * 24 Charlotte Bobcats via POR
10 Philadelphia 76ers * via NOP 25 Houston Rockets
11 Denver Nuggets * 26 Miami Heat
12 Orlando Magic * via NYK, via DEN 27 Phoenix Suns via IND
13 Minnesota Timberwolves * Goes to PHX if #14 28 Los Angeles Clippers
14 Phoenix Suns * 29 Oklahoma City Thunder
15 Atlanta Hawks 30 San Antonio Spurs

N.B. * = lotto team, and the lottery has yet to be held, thus, order is not set in stone.

And let us delve into the lotto more deeply.


Because of the coin flip the Jazz are no longer capable of snagging the 8th seed! Small victories! It's also good to not that while the Jazz only have one more ball in the pool to win the Lotto than the Celtics, the greater issues (Top 5 or lower) are in our favor. That's the thing the Jazz broadcasters didn't tell you -- the jump goes from 19.1% out of the Top Five to 42.8% out of the top five. That's why you don't usually try to tempt fate by beating lotto teams (MIN) on their home floor, on their fan appreciation night, when you are ALSO a lotto team.

Sour grapes, but I have to point out that a 1 in 5 chance of NOT being a Top 5 team in this draft is really too high a number for me. In a season where we didn't win games, didn't look like the players were having fun IN games, and the young guys didn't play great -- the only other thing on the "did we win" checklist is the draft. In a way, that's all that's left to salvage a season.

The #3 seed in the lotto has a 96% chance of being Top 5. That's where the Jazz could have been with ease if they didn't beat the Magic and Wolves; and been there for certain if the team didn't beat the Thunder and Heat. But hey, bread and circuses.