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NBA Draft 2012: Breaking Down Odds for Every Lottery Team

Dan FavaleFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2016

NBA Draft 2012: Breaking Down Odds for Every Lottery Team

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    The NBA playoffs hasn't seen an abundance of upsets, but this trend could change in the upcoming draft lottery.

    Though every lottery team is pining for a chance to select first overall, there's more at stake than just Anthony Davis.

    So, what does the lottery picture look like for every franchise involved? 

    Read on to find out. 

How Does It Work?

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    Here's how the lottery works

    Fourteen ping-pong balls will be placed in a drum, each with a number between one and 14 on it.

    Four balls will be drawn out of the 14, leaving 1,001 possible four-digit combinations.

    Before the lottery takes place, 1,000 of the potential combinations will be randomly assigned to participating teams, with the team in possession of the worst regular season record (the Charlotte Bobcats in this case) receiving the most.

    Once the first set of four balls are selected, the team assigned that particular combination receives the first pick of the draft.

    Those balls are then placed back in the drum where the process is repeated again for the second pick, and once again for the third pick. 

    If the one unassigned combination comes up at any point, the balls are put back into the drum, and the draw will take place again.

    After the first three picks are assigned, the order of selection for the remaining teams will be determined by inverse order of their regular season record.

1. Charlotte Bobcats

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 250

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 25 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 21.5 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 17.8 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 64.2 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: Fourth

    The Bobcats have the best chance out of all participating teams at receiving the first pick in the draft, essentially a one-in-four opportunity.

    Charlotte is guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth, but after the season this team had, that's hardly a victory.

    It's fitting that the Bobcats have the best possible chance at landing Davis, because they need a polarizing figure in their locker room more than any other lottery team.

2. Washington Wizards

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 199

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 19.9 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 18.8 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 17.1 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 55.74

    Will Pick No Lower Than: Fifth

    John Wall needs a prolific sidekick in Washington, and many expect that sidekick to be Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the No. 2 slot.

    That said, it's not unfathomable to picture the ping-pong balls flying in favor of the Wizards—after all, it happened for the Cavaliers last year—nabbing them the first overall pick.

    Kidd-Gilchrist, or even Bradley Beal, are fundamentally equipped to thrive alongside Wall, but it's doubtful Washington would balk at the opportunity to add Anthony Davis. 

3. New Orleans Hornets

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 148

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 14.8 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 15.46 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 16.04 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 46.3 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: Seventh

    The Hornets are owners of the Timberwolves' lottery pick, giving them the third-best chance at snagging one of the top three picks.

    This is great news for a New Orleans franchise that is continuing to put the pieces back together after trading Chris Paul this past winter.

    And while two lottery selections is a good start regardless, having one within the top three is even better. 

4. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 138

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 13.8 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 14.24 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 14.53 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 42.57 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: Sixth

    Could luck be on the side of the Cavaliers for a second straight year?

    Cleveland has nearly a coin toss of a chance at finishing inside the top three, but after jumping past the Timberwolves last year, optimism is running rampant throughout the franchise.

    That said, the Cavaliers not only have to jump past two teams this year, but in theory, a third. The Hornets are owners of their own lottery pick and Minnesota's, giving them better overall odds than Cleveland at finishing within the top three.

5. Sacramento Kings

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 76

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 7.6 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 8.44 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 9.46 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 25.5 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: Eighth

    The Kings will try to get their act together by making what many hope to be a star-caliber selection from this year's draft class.

    Sacramento holds the fifth most combinations leading into Wednesday and has a little better than a one-in-four chance at receiving a top-three pick.

    With the memory of the Jimmer Fredette selection fresh in everyone's minds, the Kings will aim to avoid poor judgment this time around. 

6. Brooklyn Nets

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 75

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 7.5 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 8.33 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 9.36 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 25.19 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: Ninth

    The Nets arguably need to finish in the top three more than anyone, as placing fourth or below forces them to relinquish their selection to the Trail Blazers.

    Though Brooklyn only has just a 7.5 percent chance of receiving the first overall pick, it has about a one-in-four chance of landing in the top three and retaining its own pick.

    The odds are against the Nets, but with any luck, coming up empty at the draft lottery won't be one of Jay-Z's 99 problems.

7. Golden State Warriors

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 36

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 3.6 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 4.16 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 4.9 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 12.66 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 10th

    The Warriors hardly have a strong chance at finishing within the top three, but that's not their main concern.

    If Golden State lands outside the top seven, its pick goes to Utah.

    The Warriors have a 72-percent chance of holding onto their pick, but they may strike a deal with the Jazz to insure themselves against the other 28 percent.

8. Toronto Raptors

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 35

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 3.5 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 4.05 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 4.77 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 12.32 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 11th

    For a team with the eighth-worst record in the NBA, the Raptors may be surprisingly indifferent to the draft order.

    While Toronto would undoubtedly welcome a top-three pick, the team's most pressing need is not in the paint, where many of this year's most prized assets reside.

    Unless the Raptors cash in on their 12-percent chance of grabbing a top-three pick, expect them to shop their selection as soon as the order is set.

9. Detroit Pistons

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 17

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 1.7 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 2 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 2.4 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 6.1 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 12th

    It's hard not to get excited at the thought of Anthony Davis and Greg Monroe patrolling the paint in Detroit.

    Here's to hoping the Pistons overcome the 92.3-percent chance of them not landing the first pick.

10. Portland Trail Blazers

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 8

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 0.8 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 0.95 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 1.15 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 2.9 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 14th

    Portland is sorely in need of a big man to partner with LaMarcus Aldridge and will keep its fingers crossed for a lottery-day miracle.

    Barring any supernatural events, though, the Blazers will settle into a later slot where they will hope to find a solution at center. 

    But hey, maybe the Blazers get incredibly lucky.

    Or not.

11. Milwaukee Bucks

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 7

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 0.7 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 0.83 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 1.01 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 2.54 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 14th

    Just imagine how good Anthony Davis, or even Thomas Robinson, would look alongside Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.

    Now, keep dreaming, because the Bucks have less than a three-percent chance at landing a top-three pick.

    Though Davis or Robinson would be great in the paint for Milwaukee, the team can take solace in knowing the draft is laden with potential on the inside.

    Don't expect the Bucks to be too broken up about their less-than-stellar lottery odds.

12. Phoenix Suns

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 6

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 0.6 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 0.71 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 0.87 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 2.18 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 14th

    It's highly unlikely that we will see Steve Nash tossing alley-oops to Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson or Andre Drummond next season. And not just because Nash is likely to leave Phoenix, but because the Suns barely have a two-percent chance at finishing with a top-three pick.

    This is where the bittersweet nature of Nash's tenure comes in. Without him, the Suns are clearly not a fringe-lottery team—they are a bona fide one.

    Should Nash leave, Phoenix may be left wondering what would have happened if he was dealt before last season.

13. Houston Rockets

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    Four-Digit Combinations Assigned: 5

    Odds of Receiving the First Pick: 0.5 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Second Pick: 0.59 percent

    Odds of Receiving the Third Pick: 0.72 percent

    Odds of Receiving Any Top Three Pick: 1.81 percent

    Will Pick No Lower Than: 14th

    The Rockets are another team who could use a miracle come Wednesday night.

    Houston is in need of a younger, more athletic big man to anchor the low post and will be hoping against hope that a less than two-percent chance at landing a top-three pick actually pays off.

    Will it?

    Probably not. But it's nice to dream.

     

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