NBA Draft Lottery 2021: Projected Order and Odds for Every Team Involved

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, right, defends as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Charlie Brown Jr. (44) shoots in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Oklahoma City Thunder's win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday flipped the dynamic of the 2021 NBA draft lottery. 

With the 117-112 win against the Clippers' second unit, the Thunder dropped out of the top echelon of odds to land the No. 1 overall pick.

Oklahoma City's victory allowed the Orlando Magic to clinch the third-worst record in the league. Orlando now has a 14 percent chance to land the top pick alongside the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons. 

After Sunday, the teams with the 10 worst records and best odds to land the No. 1 pick are known. The final four entrants into the lottery will be the losers of the play-in tournament.


NBA Draft Projected Order and Odds

1. Houston (17-55; 14% chance to land No. 1 pick)

2. Detroit (20-52; 14%)

3. Orlando (21-51; 14%)

4. Cleveland (22-50; 11.5%)

5. Oklahoma City (22-50; 11.5%)

6. Golden State (from Minnesota) (23-49; 9%)

7. Toronto (29-45; 7.5%)

8. New Orleans (31-41; 4.5%)

9. Orlando (from Chicago) (31-41; 4.5%)

10. Sacramento (31-41; 4.5%)

Order and odds via Tankathon.com     


Houston, Detroit and Orlando will have a 14 percent chance to land the No. 1 overall pick as part of the newest lottery system.

All three teams traded away top players this season to start up a new era that may begin with potential No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State. 

After the three worst teams in the NBA, the math gets a bit messy because of ties between Cleveland and Oklahoma City, as well as New Orleans, Chicago and Sacramento. 

The Cavaliers and Thunder now have an 11.5 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick. The average of the two percentage points is assigned when there is a tie of regular-season records.

If neither of the two teams receives a top-four pick, a coin flip will be used to determine which one of the squads pick first. 

The same scenario applies to New Orleans, Sacramento and Chicago, but there is a caveat added to that tiebreaker. 

If the Bulls are not drawn into a top-four selection, their pick will go to the Orlando Magic as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade. 

The other top 10 selection that could change hands belongs to Minnesota. The Timberwolves have a top-three protection on the first-round pick. If they pick outside that range, the selection goes to the Golden State Warriors. 

The rest of the lottery field will be known by Friday night, when the final elimination game in the Western Conference takes place. 

Memphis and San Antonio in the West and Indiana and Charlotte in the Eastern Conference go into the play-in round with the worst records and the higher chances to end up in the draft lottery rather than the NBA postseason. 


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