The Sacramento Kings’ win over the Houston Rockets in the season finale has officially cost the team a spot in the NBA’s Draft Lottery. After posting identical 27-55 records, Sacramento and the Chicago Bulls were part of the NBA’s coin flip rule Friday afternoon at the Board of Governors meetings.
Unfortunately for the Kings, the Bulls picked up a victory in the game of chance and now sit in the sixth spot in the pre-lottery standings. Sacramento holds the seventh position, but both teams have an equal opportunity to move up into the top three positions when the lottery is officially held on May 15.
Once the top three selections are drawn, the draft goes in order of worst remaining record, taking coin flip results into consideration. If the Kings do not move into the top three and no one slated behind them in the draft move up, they will draft No. 7 overall.
There is also a small chance that Sacramento doesn’t move up and one or more lottery teams behind them in the standings jump up. In this scenario, the Kings could draft as low as 10, but the statistical probability of them falling that far is astronomical.
Here are the odds for the potential draft positions for the Kings this season. Both the Kings and Bulls have an 18.3% chance of moving into the top three picks.
No. 1 overall selection: 5.3%
No. 2 overall selection: 6.0%
No. 3 overall selection: 7.0%
No. 7 overall selection: 57.3%
No. 8 overall selection: 22.6%
No. 9 overall selection: 1.8%
No. 10 overall selection: less than 0.0%
SACRAMENTO -- Wins matter. With the Sacramento Kings’ victory over the Houston Rockets in the season finale Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center, the team finished the campaign at 27-55. Clearly that’s not good enough to move onto the playoff portion of the NBA season, but it places the Kings in a tie with the Chicago Bulls for the sixth worst record in the NBA.
It’s a slightly complicated procedure for deciding how many ping pong balls the Kings will have in the draft lottery. Both Chicago and Sacramento will have equal odds of moving into the top three of the draft. The two teams have a 5.3 percent chance of landing the top spot, a six percent chance of choosing at No. 2 overall and a seven percent chance of selecting third.
Per NBA rules, a coin flip will determine which team falls in the sixth position and which will select seven if they don’t move up into the top three. The coin flip is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 13.
The Kings and Bulls aren’t the only teams placing their fate in the hands of a shiny piece of metal. Dallas and Atlanta finished the season tied for the third and fourth worst records. The Bucks and Heat are tied for the 16th and 17th spot in the draft. San Antonio and Minnesota will flip for picks 18 and 19 and there is a complicated formula between the Pacers, Pelicans, Thunder and Jazz for picks 20-23, since all four teams finished the regular season with a 48-34 record.
LeBron James selected Kevin Durant with the No. 1 pick in the NBA All-Star Draft. Looking back at it now, the Portland Trail Blazers certainly wish they could say they picked Durant with the No. 1 pick too.
"Well, finally someone picked me number one. That feels pretty good," Durant joked after the Warriors' win over the T'Wolves on Thursday night.
The Blazers just couldn't help themselves.
Instead of choosing Durant, Portland went with another freshman star in the 2007 NBA Draft. Ohio State center Greg Oden was the top pick in 2007 with Durant going next to the Seattle SuperSonics.
The rest is history.
Oden missed the entire 2007-08 season due to knee surgery, the beginning of what would be a lost career due to injuries. The 7-footer only lasted two seasons in Portland, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds over 82 games.
Meanwhile, Durant has averaged 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game for his career while in the midst of his 11th season. Durant is a nine-time All-Star, won the 2013-14 MVP and was named 2017 Finals MVP.