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How exactly does the NBA Draft Lottery Work?

How exactly does the NBA Draft Lottery Work?

It's almost that time of year again when the entire basketball community focuses its collective attention on the plastic laminated cards inside of a briefcase.

Fourteen teams, one night in Chicago, and a shot at the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery will take place on Tuesday, May 14 and the 14 franchises that missed the NBA Playoffs will find out which order they will select in during June's draft.

The format has been altered for 2019, but the ideology behind the method has stayed true. 

This year there is a new system factoring into the pick order. The worst three teams in the NBA all will have the same odds (14 percent) to get the top pick in the draft. This is the first year under this structure is used to prevent teams from entirely tanking at the end of the year. The odds descend from there as the teams' records get better in relation to their placement in the standings. The fourth-worst team, the Chicago Bulls (22-60) will have a 12.5 percent chance at the top pick.

After four ping pong balls are chosen at random, the combination will correspond to one of the 14 teams in the running. This process then repeats itself three more times until the top four have been chosen. After the top 4 teams have been chosen, the remaining 12 are selected in reverse order based on team records.

The odds for the top pick are as follows. 

NBA Draft Lottery Probabilities:

1. New York Knicks (17-65) - 14 percent
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) - 14 percent
3. Phoenix Suns (19-63) - 14 percent
4. Chicago Bulls (22-60) - 12.5 percent
5. Atlanta Hawks (29-53) - 10.5 percent
6. Washington Wizards (32-50) - 9 percent
7. New Orleans Pelicans (33-49) - 6 percent
8. Memphis Grizzlies (33-49) - 6 percent
9. Dallas Mavericks (33-49) - 6 percent
10. Minnesota Timberwolves (36-46) - 3 percent
11. Los Angeles Lakers (37-45) - 2 percent
12. Charlotte Hornets (39-43) - 1 percent
13. Miami Heat (39-43) - 1 percent
14. Sacramento Kings (39-43) - 1 percent

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery will be televised live on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET. From 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., tune into our "Wizards On The Clock" lottery special on NBC Sports Washington and the MyTeams app. Our live coverage will continue exclusively on the MyTeams app from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Don't have the MyTeams app yet? Click here to download.


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Mic'd up: Tyler Perry surprises Wizards in Chicago hotel

Mic'd up: Tyler Perry surprises Wizards in Chicago hotel

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you put Tyler Perry in a room with a bunch of NBA players? If so, we have the answer. 

During the Wizards' road trip to Chicago in January, the famous actor/producer/writer surprised several players in their hotel room and compared heights with them the whole time. 

Perry, who's used to being the tallest in the room at 6'5", was dwarfed by the likes of Thomas Bryant and Johnathan Williams. 

"I ain't ever been in a room where I'm the short guy," Perry said as he greeted all the players. 

There were a couple of players who Perry had the height advantage on. Bradley Beal admitted he was shorter than Perry during the video, while Perry didn't have a doubt he was taller than Gary Payton II. 

"Oh, you're short," Perry joked after Payton revealed his height. 

You can find more of this kind of inside access into the Wizards' trip to Chicago, where the "Wire-to-Wire" special will air on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Ish Smith, Moe Wagner and Scott Brooks will be mic'd up and featured throughout a condensed version of the Wizards' loss to the Bulls in mid-January. 

"The thing is, you look at celebrities as celebrities, but they look at our players as celebrities," Brooks said. "But you could tell that [Perry], he had their attention. Not a lot of times our guys are willing to wait after our breakfast meeting. But they waited around for him so it was really cool to see that."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.


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How to watch Wizards vs. Bulls Wire to Wire broadcast

How to watch Wizards vs. Bulls Wire to Wire broadcast

The Wizards head to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors. Before that, fans can enjoy inside NBA access in the debut of 'NBC Sports Wire to Wire'.

'NBC Sports Wire to Wire' will debut Sunday, Mar. 1, at 6:30 p.m. and feature a one-hour condensed game of the Wizards matchup with the Bulls from mid-January. The twist is players and coaches on both sides were mic'd up during the game. 

Ish Smith, Moe Wagner, and Scott Brooks are featured from the Wizards side, while you'll be able to hear Coby White, coach Jim Boylen and former Wizard Tomas Satoransky as well. The broadcast will deliver a mix of on-court audio and sit-down interviews. 

The Wizards fell to the Bulls 115-106 in the game in question. In a head-to-head matchup between two eventual All-Star snubs, Zach LaVine got the best of Bradley Beal, scoring 30 points on 12-21 shooting to get his team the win. 

If you recall, Beal questioned the Wizards' culture after his team dropped what he called a 'winnable game.' Since then, the Wizards are 7-6 and before the All-Star break, were playing some of their best basketball.

Beal has also been exceptional since Washington's last loss in Chicago, so perhaps there's a bit more insight into what went on that game that one, caused Beal to call out his team after the game, and two, sparked one of the best runs of play for the Wizards all year. 

So remember 6:30 p.m. on Sunday before the Wizards-Warriors game. And if you aren't able to catch it the first time, the special will be re-air later Sunday evening at 11:30 p.m.

Here's everything you need to know to tune into the game Sunday and how to watch the Wire to Wire broadcast afterward. 


What: Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors 

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

When: Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020, at 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Warriors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Warriors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the MyTeams App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM


6:30 PM: Wire to Wire: Wizards vs Bulls

7:30 PM: Wizards Outsiders

8:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live

8:30 PM: Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors

11:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live

11:30 PM: Wire to Wire: Wizards @ Bulls


Wizards: John Wall (OUT/Achilles), Thomas Bryant (OUT/foot)

Warriors: Marquese Chriss (Day-to-day/calf), Draymond Green (Day-to-day/hip), Steph Curry (Day-to-day/hand), Klay Thompson (OUT/knee)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.