Fortunes could change for some teams Tuesday night as the annual NBA draft lottery is held.
Here’s all you need to know about the event.
How to watch the NBA draft lottery
When: Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m. MT (just prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics)
TV channel: ESPN
Streaming: WatchESPN or fuboTV
Who will win the NBA draft lottery?
- The Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons all have a 14% chance of winning the lottery among the 14 teams in it.
- Those three teams each have a 40% chance of landing a top three pick and a 52.1% chance of landing a top four pick.
- The Rockets finished the 2021-22 season with the NBA’s worst record. Before 2019 that would have assured them the best odds of winning the lottery, but the NBA changed how odds are weighted in 2019 to limit how much teams were trying to tank for the top odds.
- The Rockets cannot drop lower than fifth.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers have the worst odds of getting the top pick at 0.5% since they finished with the best record in the 2021-22 season among lottery teams.
How does the NBA draft lottery work?
- Only the top four picks are actually determined via the lottery. The rest of the selections are in order of worst record to best.
- 14 ping pong balls numbered 1-14 are placed in a machine and four are removed. The 14 teams are assigned four-number combinations of numbers 1-14.
- There are 1,000 combinations assigned to teams, with the worst teams getting the most assigned to them (the Rockets, Magic and Pistons will all have 140).
- Whichever team is assigned the combination of the first four balls removed gets the top pick.
- This process is repeated for picks 2-4. If a combination comes up that is assigned to a team that already has a pick, the process is repeated until all four of the top picks have been assigned to different teams.
Who are the top prospects in the 2022 NBA draft?
- In no particular order, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Iowa’s Keegan Murray are widely considered the top prospects in the draft.