With the NBA play-in tournament complete, we now have a full 16-team field for the NBA playoffs. For the teams who didn’t make the playoffs, the next thing they have to look forward to is the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery.
Introduced in 1985, the lottery system determines the order of the first 14 picks in the NBA Draft. This system was introduced as a deterrent for teams outright tanking for the No. 1 overall pick, although the teams with the worst records will have higher odds of landing a premium selection. Wherever the ping pong balls land can truly determine the trajectory of a franchise for years to come.
When is the lottery drawing?
The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery will take place on Tuesday, May 17 in Chicago. Each participating team will send a representative of the organization to the ceremony. The event coincides with the NBA Scouting Combine taking place in Chicago that week and in recent years, the top draft prospects have been invited to the ceremony as well.
What teams are in the lottery and what are their odds of winning it?
Here are the lottery teams and their odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick courtesy of Tankathon:
Houston Rockets (20-62) — 14%
Orlando Magic (22-60) — 14%
Detroit Pistons (23-59) — 14%
Oklahoma City Thunder (24-58) — 12.5%
Indiana Pacers (25-57) — 10.5%
Portland Trail Blazers (27-55) — 9%
Sacramento Kings (30-52) — 7.5%
New Orleans Pelicans (36-46) (via Los Angeles Lakers) — 6%
San Antonio Spurs (34-48) — 4.5%
Washington Wizards (35-47) — 3%
New York Knicks (37-45) — 2%
Oklahoma City Thunder (24-58) (via Los Angeles Clippers) — 1.5%
Charlotte Hornets (43-39) — 1%
Cleveland Cavaliers (44-38) — 0.5%
The Rockets, Magic, and Pistons all have the best odds to win the lottery this season after posting the three worst records in the NBA. Detroit in particular has a shot at being the first team to win the lottery in back-to-back years since Cleveland did it in 2012 and 2013.
The L.A. teams won’t be represented in the lottery with the Pelicans owning the Lakers’ pick as a result of the Anthony Davis trade and the Thunder owning the Clippers’ pick as a result of the Paul George trade. The Thunder are the only team with two lottery selections this year and even if they don’t land the No. 1 overall spot, they could use the draft capital to leverage themselves a higher spot up the board later.