2011 NBA Draft Lottery: TV Schedule, Lottery Odds for All Teams
The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery will be conducted live on ESPN this upcoming Tuesday, May 17th at 8:30 PM EDT before Game 1 of the Western conference finals game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The lottery is always an exciting time for fans who haven’t had much to cheer about since their teams were eliminated from playoff contention. As history has shown us, everyone has a shot to land the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The original purpose of the lottery was to counteract teams thought to be intentionally tanking games late in the season to secure themselves a higher pick. A weighted system was employed to give the worst teams the best shot at the No. 1 pick, but also to ensure every team outside of the playoffs was in contention for it, not just the team with the worst record.
After the rules were established in 1985, the New York Knicks won the first lottery, selecting Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing with the first pick in the draft. The Knicks were the third worst team in the NBA the previous season, so the new lottery system did not reward Golden State or Indiana, who had worse records than New York that year.
Over the years, the lottery hasn’t been very rewarding to the worst team in the league, only 15 percent of the time has the worst team actually secured the first overall pick. Still, the lottery selection is a chance for hope for 14 out of the league’s 30 teams.
Here are the odds, and a look at who each team in the lottery would benefit from.
NBA Draft Odds
The first three picks of the draft are determined by the lottery, and picks four through 14 are determined in inverse order of the lottery team's regular season record.
Here are the odds for each team in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery:
|TEAM||RECORD||LOTTERY CHANCES (out of 1000)|
|Toronto Raptors||22-60 ||156|
|New Jersey Nets (To Utah)||24-58||75|
|LA Clippers (To Cleveland)||32-50||28|
|Golden State Warriors ||36-46||8|
Minnesota Timberwolves: 25 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
The T-Wolves have a lot at stake in this year’s draft. They drafted well with Wesley Johnson last year, but the 2009 draft, where they landed Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio, is a cruel reminder that things don’t always work out. Rubio may never suit up for the Wolves, and Flynn was just a backup after a strong rookie campaign.
They will look at Duke’s Kyrie Irving if they land the first pick, since their plans for a point guard of the future haven’t panned out yet.
Cleveland Cavaliers: 23 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
If they Cavs can land the first pick in the draft, they will also pounce on Duke’s Kyrie Irving.
The team has two spots in the lottery (2 and 8), but the eighth-best team only carries a 2.8 percent chance of coming in as the lottery winner.
Still, it takes ping-pong balls away from another team, so Cleveland has to like their odds.
Toronto Raptors: 16 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
While the top two picks in the NBA appear to be set in stone, the third pick is anybody’s guess right now.
Should Toronto land that pick, they could look to go small and shore up their backcourt, paving the way to trade PG Jose Calderon for multiple complimentary pieces or a future pick.
UConn’s Kemba Walker or Kentucky’s Brandon Knight would make the most sense if Toronto is not in a position to land Kyrie Irving.
Washington Wizards: 12 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
The Washington Wizards will be taking Derrick Williams of Arizona first overall if they're lucky enough to win the lottery.
The team has John Wall, so they don’t need a point guard. They can get creative if they want to, since they have enough young talent to take a risk at No. 4.
Sacramento Kings: 8 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
Sacramento would love to land Kyrie Irving so Tyreke Evans can move over to shooting guard, but if that doesn’t happen they could still go small.
Sacramento needs help everywhere, and when that's the case you want to go big or small, not in-between.
They can go after Knight or Walker if they're still on the board, or potentially look to big man Enes Kanter with the No. 5 pick.
Utah Jazz: 8 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
Utah, like Cleveland, has two chances at snagging the No. 1 pick in the draft. Of course, their second pick (No. 12) has less than a 1 percent shot to come up at the top, but they're still taking those odds.
The Jazz are stacked up front, so if they can get Irving, Walker or Knight—all is well. If not, they should reach out to the next best backcourt option in Colorado’s Alec Burks.
Detroit Pistons: 4 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
The odds of Detroit landing the first overall pick are starting to slim down, since they only have a 4-percent chance at securing a new hope in Motown. The No. 7 team has landed the No. 1 pick twice (Philly ’86, NJ ’00) in the history of the draft, so I’m saying there’s a chance.
Detroit is a soft team right now, so a tough interior player like Enes Kanter would help them out, especially with Tayshaun Prince headed for free agency.
Charlotte Bobcats: 2 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
Charlotte is another soft team, so Derrick Williams would help them if they were to receive the first pick. With a 2 percent chance to win, odds are they'll look to another big.
One of the international players like Jan Vesely, or Donatas Motiejunas might be the way to go for the Bobcats if all else fails.
Milwaukee Bucks: 1 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
The Bucks have Brandon Jennings, so they would go with Derrick Williams if they lucked out, but they'll likely have to settle for the leftovers that teams like Detroit and Charlotte pass on.
Still, one of the previously mentioned Euros or Kansas’ Marcus Morris would be a reliable value pick this late in the lottery.
Golden State: 0.8 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
No more rounding up, the 0.8 percent chance that Golden State has to land the first pick doesn’t need to be embellished.
Of course, the Orlando Magic were eleventh in the lottery odds back in 1993 and they landed the first pick. Oh, and they only had one single ping-pong ball to get the No. 1 pick. Oh, and it turned into Shaquille O’Neal.
Kawhi Leonard NEEDS to be the Warriors pick if they don't come in at No. 1.
Phoenix Suns: 0.6 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
Fingers are crossed in Phoenix, but hopefully the city’s collective breath isn't being held. Suns fans will tune into the draft lottery, but expectations will be kept in check.
Jimmer Fredette would make a fine addition to the Suns roster if they don’t land the pipe dream that is the No. 1 pick.
Houston Rockets: 0.5 Percent Chance at No. 1 Pick
No team that finished beyond eleventh-worst has ever won the draft lottery, so the Rockets probably won’t be seeing Irving or Williams until the regular season.
The team with the worst chance to landing the No. 1 pick is also the team that came closest to the playoffs, so Houston just needs to take the best player out there. Yao may or may not be back, so someone like the rebounding-God Kenneth Faried may be worth strong consideration at No. 14.
Shout out to the No. 6 pick in the 1998 draft, Robert “Tractor” Traylor who passed away today at the age of 34.