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J.Ross: NBA Draft Lottery Primer

Unfortunately the most anticipated day for Sacramento Kings fans these days is the annual NBA draft lottery.  This year’s show takes place on Tuesday May 15th and fans all over the league are hoping that they are the last envelope remaining.  The Phoenix Suns have the best odds of winning the top pick.  Over the last 3 years the team with the best odds actually did win the lottery.  Minnesota got Karl Anthnony-Towns in 2015, Ben Simmons went to Philadelphia in 2016 and last year the 76ers got Markelle Fultz.  In the previous 8 draft lotteries the team with the best chance did not take home the top spot.

Other teams hoping to get lucky include: Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Cleveland (from Brooklyn), New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte, La Clippers (from Detroit), LA Clippers own pick, Denver and the Sacramento Kings.  The Kings have a 5.3 % chance of getting the first pick.  So you’re saying  there’s a chance. The Kings have a 18.3% chance of picking in the top 3.  Remember that the lottery is only picking the top 3 spots and then the rest of the spots are filled by order of worst record to best.  So the Kings can pick, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th.

This will be the 23rd time that the Kings have been in the NBA draft lottery since 1985.  The Kings have only moved up two times.  In 1989 the Kings went into the draft picking 6th and won the lottery.  That year they picked Pervis Ellison with the top overall pick.  Last year was just the second time that the Kings moved up in the lottery.  The Kings went into the draft lottery in the 8th position and moved up to 3rd.  They had to pick swap with Philadelphia but still selected 5th overall. With the 5th pick last year the Kings took De’Aaron Fox.

The other twenty years of the draft the Kings stayed in the same spot as the pre lottery position 10 times.  They moved up the two times that I mentioned before.  They moved back 10 times.  When they moved back they moved back 1 spot 5 times.  They moved back 2 spots 3 times and they moved back the maximum 3 spots 2 times.  The Kings have started in this pre-lottery spot of 7th two other times.  In 1998 they stayed at seven and selected Jason Williams.  In 2014, they moved back from 7 to 8 and selected Nik Stauskas.

I am not sure how the lottery is going to go on but let’s hope the Kings can get some luck on their side.

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