How does the NBA Draft Lottery work?


The NBA Draft isn't until Thursday, June 21 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The big day has finally arrived for Mavericks fans. The Lakers' pick goes to Philadelphia or Boston, depending on where it falls. Down 1-0 to the Celtics, they absolutely can not lose Game 2 tonight. Chance for top-three pick: 55.8 percent.

Over the final weeks of the 2017-18 season, a number of bottom-feeders shamelessly tanked to increase their chances of picking up more pingpong balls. Their own pick was No. 19, but it was owed to Atlanta to complete a trade.

They have a zero percent chance of netting the No. 4 or No. 5 pick, which means Boston has a 2.88 percent chance of landing a top-three pick Tuesday night.

For those who forget, the night the Cavaliers won the 2014 lottery, on a night LeBron James was winning a Heat playoff game in IN, speculation began of the lottery luck opening the door for James' eventual return to Cleveland.

None of them bring with them as much hype as Shaquille O'Neal in 1992, Chris Webber in 1993 or LeBron James in 2003.

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And then there is one more case where lottery luck could potentially change the immediate face of future East playoff races.

It seems nearly unfathomable, but the Boston Celtics have a shot at a top-three NBA Draft pick for third consecutive season.

Boston still will have a presence in Chicago for Tuesday's lottery in the off chance of a miracle: Team president Rich Gotham will be in the main stage area, while assistant general manager Mike Zarren will be in the drawing room.

When the order of the first 14 teams is drawn Tuesday night, though, the Wolves will try something they haven't done since 2004: They're going to watch from a distance with a shrug.

9 ... Pre-lottery slot in the 2014 NBA Draft before winning the No. 1 pick just a few weeks earlier in the Lottery.

But put the likes of Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley (or players they could be dealt for) on the 76ers, Celtics, Cavaliers or even Pistons, and that uphill climb faced by the Heat could become far steeper than it already stands.