NBA Draft Lottery: What Are the Odds

I've read that the NBA wants to create an element of surprise and perhaps provide some level of fairness too in determining who will draft first through 15. It seems like a relatively complex drawing in that only the first three spots are really up for grabs, while a team could fall back in the order by a corresponding number from where they would otherwise would have selected based on their prior year's win-loss record.I find it really curious to see that the worst team receives just a 25 percent chance in winning the top prize – the #1 overall selection. Although the rest of the lottery entrants have a far smaller individual chance to win, they combine for a 75 percent chance to win. Which odds would you rather have in a bet?

Although all of the other draft lottery teams have a far lower individual chance of winning, collectively they seem to have overwhelming odds in their favor that one of them will win over the team with just a 25 percent chance.

Not since 2004 has the team with the worst record won the top draft spot (Orlando drafted Dwight Howard first overall with that selection). Last year Cleveland won the prize, instead of drafting eighth as their record would have dictated.

I think the question should be raised whether this format really helps the league maintain competitive parity. It can be argued that the draft is always a gamble, especially given that the players that are deemed the best rarely complete a four year college career anymore. This year's top rated player, Anthony Davis, has just two years of college from which scouts must evaluate the floor and ceiling of his career.

A great deal more seems to be placed on these two measures. With many unknowns about how an 18, 19, 20, or 21 year old player will develop.

I'd propose helping the worst teams more, while making the general managers of teams have to make more decisions about how they can maneuver.

Today, the worst team really has the odds stacked against them. I'd prefer to see the 25 percent chance raised to 33 percent with the next two losing-est teams receiving 17 percent and 9 percent chances respectively. The next 12 teams would then be given the chance to move up on the basis of offering to deal players or future draft rights to these lowliest three teams in exchange for points they control, or that they could maintain for themselves.

The worst team would have 21 discretionary points equal to a 21 percent chance to draft one of the top three players.

The second worst team would have have 12 points, and the third worst team 8 points.

Too complicated? Maybe, but I think it would promote more deals and more interest by the fans in how their teams might make moves to help their teams. The worst teams would also be more assured of getting the highest ranked talent to improve their future results.

This system would provide the losing-est team with up to 54 percent chance to win a top pick. At the other extreme one of the other twelve teams could obtain as much as a 41 percent chance to draft among the top three, if all discretionary points were obtained.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *