How to Watch the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery: Schedule, Live Stream and TV Info

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks squats during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

It's no secret that watching the 2020 NBA playoffs is hard for the teams that didn't make it in, including those that didn't even get an invite to play in the seeding games for the regular season restart in the Orlando bubble.

But there's always hope.

Thursday's draft lottery has the potential to turn a few of the league's worst 14 teams' fortunes around, and it all comes down to how the pingpong balls bounce.

Considering this is a unique situation where teams can't all convene in one location, the event itself will be held at the NBA offices in Secaucus, New Jersey, with Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announcing the results.

ESPN's Rachel Nichols will host, with Jay Bilas, Jay Williams and Adrian Wojnarowski all contributing from different locations.

Golden State finished the regular season with the worst record, and they are one of three teams with the best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick.

Here's a quick look at when and how to catch the action.


2020 NBA Draft Lottery Information

Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET


Live Stream: Watch ESPN and ESPN app 

NBA Draft @NBADraft

#NBADraftLottery 2020 presented by State Farm will be held on Thursday, Aug. 20 and air live on ESPN at 8:30 PM ET. Here is the the team representatives list! https://t.co/pdindofTfx


Cleveland, Golden State and Minnesota Have Best Odds to Earn No. 1 Pick 

Last year saw the introduction of the new draft lottery format in which the three teams with the worst records in the NBA have the best odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick.

That means that the Warriors, Cavaliers and Timberwolves each have a 14 percent chance of selecting first.

From there, the percentages get lower as the rankings go down to 14th. For instance, the No. 4 Atlanta Hawks have a 12.5 percent chance of walking away with the top choice, while the No. 9 Washington Wizards have a 4.5 percent chance and the No. 14 Memphis Grizzlies have a 0.5 percent chance.

Once the balls reveal the first four picks, the order then switches to the inverse, with the other 10 lottery teams going in order of their respective regular-season records.

Should Golden State, Cleveland and Minnesota all miss the top pick somehow, they still each have a 13.4 percent chance of getting the No. 2 pick, a 12.7 percent chance of earning the No. 3 pick and a 12 percent chance of landing at No. 4.

Then there's the New York Knicks.

New York has a 9 percent chance of winning the lottery. After not winning last year's race for Zion Williamson, they might deserve a lucky bounce of the pingpong balls.

It's been a while since the Knicks have had a star in Madison Square Garden, and if things go their way, they could get LaMelo Ball.

Ball is not Williamson by any stretch of the imagination, but he's box office and has the makings of a future star in the league.

And in the NBA, point guards are the focal point driving teams towards success, which means the 19-year-old playmaker could be the first major piece on their way to rebuilding under new team president Leon Rose and new head coach Tom Thibodeau.

If Ball lands in New York, the team will be back in the national spotlight and perhaps return to prominence as a preferred destination for free agents.


Warriors Watch

In this draft, the Warriors not only have one of the best chances to land the first pick, they can't fall any lower than No. 5.

Most teams would be over the moon if they win the lottery.

If Golden State is excited about the possibility, they aren't exactly coming across that way.

"If you get the No. 1 pick wrong, people don't forget that. If you get the No. 5 pick wrong, people are more likely to move on," GM Bob Myers told The Athletic's Ethan Strauss.

"So there's a scrutiny to 1. But there's also more of an opportunity to having 1. There's an optionality to it. You control the pick, so to speak."

In the past, Myers has made no bones about his willingness to actually trade the No. 1 pick should his team win it.

"Yeah, we're going to consider all that," Myers told Monte Poole of NBC Sports. "Now, I don't know if the headline is going to be that we're trading our pick. So, be clear that I said 'consider.'"

One of the major reasons the Warriors are so open to trading the pick is the fact that there is no clear choice for the No. 1 pick like last year.

And while Ball is widely considered the best prospect in the draft, Golden State is already set at the point guard position with two-time MVP Stephen Curry.

Then the only other players worthy of the top pick are Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman.

The Warriors haven't mentioned either player as targets leading up to the lottery, so if they are enamored with them, they're keeping that close to the chest.

What might be their best move, then, is to trade down and get a player that fills a need in addition to a pick.

The best partner for that potential deal would be the Knicks, who also have a young core they would be willing to part with for Ball.

In that kind of trade, Golden State could pick up Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton, who could possibly fill the void left by Shaun Livingston, who recently retired, and maybe New York's 27th pick or a player like Kevin Knox.


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