The pingpong balls will dictate the future for NBA franchises selecting in the 2014 draft lottery.
Times Square Studio in New York City will be the host of one of the more important installments of the draft process. Sure, the combine is crucial in evaluating prospects, but a team cannot get a top prospect if it doesn't win a high selection in the lottery.
The lottery can single-handedly impact the outlook of NBA franchises. It's definitely something you'll want to tune into. Makes sure you're aware of all the must-know info ahead of time.
2014 NBA Draft Schedule
When: Tuesday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET
Current Lottery Chances
|6||Los Angeles Lakers||6.3%|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||1.1%|
|12||New York Knicks||0.7%|
Those infamous pingpong balls are responsible for selecting the top three picks in the draft. The team with the better chance of receiving the No. 1 pick will have more balls in the system, but that doesn't mean that those teams are guaranteed to get picks above the rest of the field. It's a lottery, after all.
After those top three picks are taken care of, the next 11 teams are given their selection based on regular-season record. ESPN's Chad Ford breaks down every single scenario here:
We’ve also updated our Lottery Mock Draft machine. Play all 2,184 scenarios here: http://t.co/hYjo4P9AmG— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) April 22, 2014
There are a ton of scenarios that can play out.
How the Order Impacts the Top Prospects
While there are never guarantees in the draft, it's popular opinion that the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, Joel Embiid and Julius Randle will be some of the first names called on draft night.
But how will the order of picks impact their futures?
Regardless of which team gets the No. 1 pick, Wiggins will likely be the first name off the board. He has the highest ceiling of everyone in the draft. The next player off the board will likely be Parker, seeing as he is the most NBA-ready scorer available.
After Nos. 1 and 2, the order of teams will impact which player is drafted.
The Orlando Magic, if they receive the No. 3 pick as projected, will likely take the best player available on their board. With tons of holes to fill, it could be any of the top prospects. I think the pick would be Exum.
Boston likely won't be in the market for a big man in the early picks given their young depth in that area, so they could look to go guard (Exum or Marcus Smart) with their pick—even if it's the No. 3 selection. That would seem to be a reach for Smart, but it's a pick that the Celtics likely wouldn't shy away from making.
There are so many different scenarios that could play out after the top two selections are in the books. Wiggins and Parker should go No. 1 and No. 2, but who will go No. 3? We'll have to wait until after the lottery to get a better idea.