May the odds be ever in the favor of your favorite NBA team because May 17 is the day of the NBA Draft Lottery. If you’re wondering what ping pong balls and math have to do with basketball, here are 5 things you need to know about the NBA’s exciting night.
While the NBA Playoffs are still underway, the rest of the league is looking forward to the 2016 NBA Draft. Yet, deciding which team gets to go first is no easy task, so each year they hold the NBA Draft Lottery. If you have no idea what this is, it’s time to learn about basketball’s big game of chance.
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1. This is not the actual NBA Draft.
Don’t be confused. The actual 2016 NBA Draft happens on June 23, 2016. Before that day comes, the NBA will hold its lotto ceremony around 8:00 P.M. EST on May 17 to determine the drawing order for the actual Draft.
2. A ping pong ball determines a team’s fate.
The top three NBA Draft picks are determined via lotto drawing, similar to the Powerball drawing fans watch on TV. 14 ping pong balls, numbered 1-14, are placed into a lotto machine, according to SB Nation. Four balls are then drawn to create a number combination.
Mathematically, there are 1,001 total possible combinations. One combo is thrown out and the remaining 1,000 are distributed among the 14 teams that did not make the playoffs. The worst team in the league gets 250 combinations, with each progressively better team getting fewer and fewer chances at a top 3 draft pick. The team with the matching four-ball combination to the first day wins the overall No.1 draft pick. It’s pretty ridiculous but oddly fun.
3. Things get settled with coin tosses.
After the first drawing, the process is repeated two more times to decide picks 2 and 3. After that, picks 4-14 are determined in reverse order in terms of win-loss record. If two teams happen to have the same record, the winner is determined by a coin toss. Yes, a coin toss.
4. Teams give up chances via trades.
The Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors can not receive the No. 1 pick due to past trades. If the Raptors win the lottery, their pick will be given to the Denver Nuggets. If the Kings win ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers, the two teams will switch. Now, if the Los Angeles Lakers fail to win a top 3 pick, they’ll lose their selection in the First round to Philly.
5. So, who’s going to win?
At 10-72, the 76ers have 25% chance of winning the No. 1 spot and 64% of landing in the top 3, according to Sports Illustrated. The Lakers are a close second, with a 19.9% of getting the top pick. The Brooklyn Nets have a 46.9% of landing a Top 3 pick, but they’ll have to give it to the Boston Celtics having traded their pick away, according to the New York Daily News.
Who do you want to win the NBA Draft Lottery, HollywoodLifers?