Warriors

/ by Grant Liffmann
Presented By OutsiderObservationsBMW
Warriors

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area an hour after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observations on the State of the Dubs.

The big dilemma that Warriors fans are facing right now is whether or not they want to see the team win for immediate satisfaction, or lose for the purpose of long-term success.

To many, the pros outweigh the cons to see the Warriors finish at the bottom of the standings in order to get a high -- if not the highest -- draft pick. With one of the top selections, the Warriors could trade for a star player or draft a prospect who they think will carry them into the next decade once Steph Curry and the current core retire.

Unlike baseball or football, the 14 teams that miss the playoffs take part in a draft lottery, rather than picking strictly based on the worst to best record. After some changes to the lottery structure beginning in last year's draft, the worst record in the NBA no longer solely has the best odds to win the No. 1 pick. The odds to land the top slot goes as follows:

Worst record: 14 percent
Second-worst record: 14 percent
Third-worst: 14 percent
Fourth-worst: 12.5 percent
Fifth-worst: 10.5 percent
Sixth-worst: 9 percent
Seventh-worst: 7.5 percent
Eighth-worst: 6 percent
Ninth-worst: 4.5 percent
10th-worst: 3 percent
11th-worst: 2 percent
12th-worst: 1.5 percent
13th-worst: 1 percent
14th-worst: 0.5 percent

 

Finishing with the fourth-, fifth- or sixth-worst sill has solid odds in comparison to the bottom three. It's very possible that's where the Warriors (5-20) end up, despite currently owning the NBA's second-worst record. 

The New York Knicks (4-19) and Cleveland Cavaliers (5-18) continue to struggle, while the Atlanta Hawks (6-17) and Memphis Grizzlies (7-16) both will finish at the bottom of the standings despite boasting a lot of young talent. The Washington Wizards (7-15), Chicago Bulls (8-17) and Zion Williamson-less New Orleans Pelicans (6-18) have all underwhelmed, and the Warriors are going to be in this mix if their slow start is any indication.

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The Warriors are getting healthier, however, which should help them compete and potentially even surprise a few teams. While that might disappoint the fans that desperately want the team to finish with the best odds at the top pick, plenty are looking for entertainment and competitive basketball should be encouraged.

But at the end of the season, the Warriors likely are going to finish at, or near, the bottom of the standings, and their odds of landing the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft will be high.