With the announcement of the NBA’s 22-team restart, the answers to a number of other questions became clearer. One of those questions revolved around the NBA draft.
The NBA, of course, uses a draft lottery and the question on fans’ minds was “will there be a lottery this year?” The answer to that question is “yes.”
The 2019-20 NBA season will resume on July 31 and the annual draft lottery, which determines the order of selection for the draft, will take place on August 25.
The eight teams that will not be joining the rest of the league in Orlando for the remainder of the season will take part in the lottery. The other six teams will be determined by the completion of the regular season and potential play-in tournament.
The NBA agreed to resume the regular season with each of the 22 invited teams playing eight regular season games. When those games are complete, if the ninth seed in each conference is within four games of the eighth seed the two teams will have a playoff.
The No. 9 seed must beat the No. 8 seed twice in order to advance to the playoffs. Once the playoff field is set, the remaining six teams will also become part of the draft lottery.
Currently, Golden State, Cleveland, and Minnesota – the teams with the worst records as of March 11 – have the best odds (14.0 percent) of obtaining the overall No. 1 pick. Atlanta (12.5 percent) and Detroit (10.5 percent) are the only other teams with double-digit odds to acquire the first pick.
Washington, Phoenix, San Antonio, Sacramento, New Orleans, and Portland are all currently among the teams with the worst records in the league. Because they were all within six games of eighth place in their respective conference, each team was selected to travel to Orlando to complete the season.
Should one (or more) of the teams qualify for the playoffs, the remaining six will be seeded and assigned odds based on their records as of March 11. That is the date the league suspended play due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The NBA also set the date for this year’s draft. The draft will be held on Thursday, October 15. Free agency is expected to start three days later on October 18.