NBA Lottery 2020: Date, Time, TV Schedule, Live Stream and More

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Memphis center James Wiseman warms up for the team's NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

While 16 teams battle for an NBA championship in Orlando, another 14 are looking toward a different kind of prize: the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

The draft was originally supposed to take place during its normal June date, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to reschedule it for Oct. 16. Teams have already had a longer-than-usual chance to scout prospects; with the timeline set this year, they will have nearly two full months with the draft order set in stone to continue their evaluations.


2020 NBA Draft Lottery Info

Date: Thursday, Aug. 20

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET


Live stream: Watch ESPN


Odds for No. 1 Pick  (via ESPN.com)

Golden State Warriors: 14 percent

Cleveland Cavaliers: 14 percent

Minnesota Timberwolves: 14 percent

Atlanta Hawks: 12.5 percent

Detroit Pistons: 10.5 percent

New York Knicks: 9 percent

Chicago Bulls: 7.5 percent

Charlotte Hornets: 6 percent

Washington Wizards: 4.5 percent

Phoenix Suns: 3 percent

San Antonio Spurs: 2 percent

Sacramento Kings: 1.3 percent

New Orleans Pelicans: 1.2 percent

Memphis Grizzlies: 0.5 percent


This is the second year the NBA is using a flattened odds structure to try to prevent teams from tanking. Golden State, Minnesota and Cleveland have the same chance at the No. 1 pick. The Warriors, as owners of the league's worst regular-season record, can't fall further than the fifth pick.

There was a final bit of business for the lottery odds on Monday, which saw the Sacramento Kings win a tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans for the 12th spot in the lottery rankings, per NBA.com. It improved the Kings' odds by 0.1 percent. 

When it comes to the teams who aren't in the lottery, their draft position for the first and second rounds is determined by their regular-season record. A full list can be found at NBA.com.

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

Unlike in 2019, which featured a stone-cold top prospect in Zion Williamson, there isn't a clear-cut front-runner for the top pick this year. ESPN lists Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards as the top prospect. B/R's Jonathan Wasserman says LaMelo Ball is the best guy out there. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has 18-year-old Frenchman Killian Hayes at the top of his big board but Edwards going No. 1 in his latest mock draft.

James Wiseman, a center who left Memphis early in the men's college season, could go first if the team who gets the top pick decides it needs a big man to reverse its fortunes (perhaps Golden State, who will return with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson next season).

So once the draft order is finalized on Thursday, there's still plenty left to ponder. Could the Warriors, who have a more solid core than the other lottery teams, swing a trade if they feel it suits their needs? Will a top prospect tumble in the rankings? There isn't a simple narrative here like last year, but there's plenty of time for some new ones to appear.