NBA Draft Lottery 2022: Predictions, Updated Standings for No. 1 Pick

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 5, 2022

NBA Draft Lottery 2022: Predictions, Updated Standings for No. 1 Pick

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    It's scoreboard watching season in the NBA, and not just among the teams vying for prime playoff spots.

    There's also the annual race to the bottom for clubs looking to maximize their draft lottery odds in hopes of landing an elite prospect.

    With less than a week remaining before the curtains drop on the 2021-22 campaign, this race remains too close to call. So, after updating the league standings, we'll spotlight the latest odds of teams landing the top overall pick, per Then, we'll explore how the lottery results could shape the top of this draft.

Updated Standings

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    Eastern Conference

    1. y-Miami Heat: 51-28

    2. x-Boston Celtics: 49-30

    3. x-Milwaukee Bucks: 48-30

    4. x-Philadelphia 76ers: 48-30

    5. Chicago Bulls: 45-33

    6. Toronto Raptors: 45-33

    7. Cleveland Cavaliers: 43-36

    8. Atlanta Hawks: 41-37

    9. pb-Charlotte Hornets: 40-38

    10. pb-Brooklyn Nets: 40-38

    11. e-New York Knicks: 35-44

    12. e-Washington Wizards: 35-44

    13. e-Indiana Pacers: 25-54

    14. e-Detroit Pistons: 23-56

    15. e-Orlando Magic: 20-59


    Western Conference

    1. *-Phoenix Suns: 62-16

    2. y-Memphis Grizzlies: 55-23

    3. x-Golden State Warriors: 50-29

    4. x-Dallas Mavericks: 49-30

    5. Denver Nuggets: 47-32

    6. Utah Jazz: 46-32

    7. Minnesota Timberwolves: 45-34

    8. pb-Los Angeles Clippers: 39-40

    9. New Orleans Pelicans: 34-44

    10. San Antonio Spurs: 33-45

    11. Los Angeles Lakers: 31-47

    12. e-Sacramento Kings: 29-50

    13. e-Portland Trail Blazers: 27-51

    14. e-Oklahoma City Thunder: 23-55

    15. e-Houston Rockets: 20-59


    *—clinched league best record

    y—clinched division

    x—clinched playoff berth

    pb—clinched Play-In berth

    e—eliminated from playoff contention

Draft Lottery Odds

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    Kyle Phillips/Associated Press

    Percent Chance of Landing the No. 1 Pick

    Houston Rockets: 14.0

    Orlando Magic: 14.0

    Detroit Pistons: 14.0

    Oklahoma City Thunder: 12.5

    Indiana Pacers: 10.5

    Portland Trail Blazers: 9.0

    Sacramento Kings: 7.5

    Los Angeles Lakers: 6.0

    San Antonio Spurs: 4.5

    Washington Wizards: 2.5

    New Orleans Pelicans: 2.5

    New York Knicks: 1.5

    Brooklyn Nets: 0.8

    Charlotte Hornets: 0.7

Lottery Predictions

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    This race is always fascinating for a variety of reasons, but the intrigue compounds this season due to the lack of a consensus top prospect in this class.

    It's not that the draft lacks elite talent, but rather that there are (at least) three potential centerpieces at the top. Which one goes first overall might depend on which team lands the pick.

    Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren can anchor a defense and splash shots from the perimeter. He might be more of a finisher than shot-creator, though, so teams without top table-setters might look beyond him. For those that have them, though, like the Pistons (Cade Cunningham) and Thunder (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey), Holmgren could be the perfect co-star to complement their in-house building blocks.

    Auburn's Jabari Smith is a 6'10" sharpshooter with enviable versatility on defense. His spacing and scoring combo could do wonders for Orlando's frontcourt and offense in general. Get him to Indiana, and he'd take some of the offensive heat away from young guards Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte.

    Duke's Paolo Banchero might be the most self-sufficient scorer among the three, and he has enough vision to find open teammates. He is a bit of a ball-stopper, though, and his defensive effort isn't always where you'd want it. But for a team seeking an instant-impact scorer, like the Blazers or Spurs, Banchero could easily sit atop their draft boards.