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Previewing the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery: Odds and pick scenarios

2012 NBA Draft Lottery

2012 NBA Draft Lottery

NBAE/Getty Images

The NBA will hold its Draft Lottery in Manhattan on Tuesday, and while there are reasons why all 14 teams participating can feel good about their chances, here are the actual odds that will factor into how things shake out.

Minnesota Timberwolves16-66250.
New York Knicks17-65199.
Philadelphia 76ers18-64156.
Los Angeles Lakers21-61119.
Orlando Magic25-5788.088.097.107-.261.360.084.004------
Sacramento Kings29-5363.063.071.081--.440.305.040.001-----
Denver Nuggets30-5243.043.049.058---.600.232.018.000----
Detroit Pistons32-5028.028.033.039----.724.168.008.000---
Charlotte Hornets33-4917.017.020.024-----.813.122.004.000--
Miami Heat37-4511.011.013.016------.870.089.002.000-
Indiana Pacers38-448.008.009.012-------.907.063.001.000
Utah Jazz38-447.007.008.010--------.935.039.000
Phoenix Suns39-436.006.007.009---------.960.018
Oklahoma City Thunder45-375.005.006.007----------.982

There are two scenarios where teams could lose their picks, depending on where they fall, thanks to prior trade agreements.

The Sixers will get the Lakers pick if it should fall to sixth or seventh, and Philadelphia could also end up with Miami’s pick (via dealing Thaddeus Young to Minnesota) if it falls outside the top 10.

As for the lottery itself, it goes down like this (via

- Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Prior to the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.

- All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for 20 seconds; then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds, and then second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the number one pick. The same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second pick and then again for the third pick.

- The order of selection for the teams that do not win one of the top three picks will be determined by inverse order of their regular-season record. Thus, Minnesota can pick no lower than fourth, New York (17-65) no lower than fifth and Philadelphia (18-64) no lower than sixth.

- The actual drawing happens privately before the nationally televised broadcast, but not because there’s anything nefarious taking place. It’s completed in a room full of league and team executives, as well as a few members of the media. And as you can see below, it’s incredibly boring to watch.

The Draft Lottery will be broadcast from the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton Midtown hotel, and can be seen tonight on ESPN beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.