2021 NBA Draft Order Reportedly to Be Decided by Tiebreaker Coin Flips on May 25

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2021

The NBA logo at center court is shown during the second half of an NBA first-round playoff basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

May 25 will reportedly be an important day for the NBA, as the selection order for the 2021 draft will begin to take shape.

According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the league will conduct coin flips as tiebreakers for the NBA draft order at some point in the early afternoon (ET) on May 25. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder are tied for the fourth-best lottery odds, and the Orlando Magic (via the Chicago Bulls), New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings are tied for the eighth-best odds.

Outside of the top 10, the Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs will be tied for 11th if they both lose in the play-in tournament, the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks are tied for 19th, the L.A. Clippers and Denver Nuggets are tied for 25th, and the Houston Rockets (via Portland Trail Blazers), Los Angeles Lakers and Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks) are tied for 21st.

The coin flip between the Cavaliers and Thunder, who both finished the season 22-50, jumps out given the overall importance a top pick would represent for both rebuilding franchises.

Cleveland could use more young talent to pair with pieces such as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and perhaps Jarrett Allen, while OKC is loaded with draft capital as it attempts to build around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

In fact, the Thunder have a remarkable 34 draft picks in the 2021 through 2027 drafts, which will give general manager Sam Presti the opportunity to completely revamp a franchise that no longer has players such as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul or Paul George.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman released a mock draft on Monday and projected the Thunder to take Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs with the No. 4 pick and Cleveland to take Jonathan Kuminga from the G League with the No. 5 pick.

The idea of Suggs and Gilgeous-Alexander leading the backcourt for years to come is surely enticing to OKC, while Kuminga could help round out the frontcourt for the Cavaliers.

The journey to those picks starts with the coin flips.