By Jeremy Woo
June 25, 2014
Editor's note: basketball writer Jeremy Woo approached us with an NBA Draft-related game that he and his friend Nick Medline created and play every year. Upon initial explanation it sounds gloriously confusing, but mostly intriguing. Given that the Draft is an event mostly geared towards diehard basketball fans, we decided it would be worth having Nick and Jeremy share the rules to the mock draftey/prop bettish game below. There's also a link to the spreadsheet pictured above if you decide to give it a try. Let us know how it goes, and tweet any specific questions you have to the all-knowing Woo.


Co-written by Nick Medline and Jeremy Woo.

1. Write down or make a spreadsheet listing first round draft picks and teams, in order.

2. Each person will predict the players selected by each team. The more accurate you are, the more points you earn.

3. There’s also a list of 10 questions—worth points—that can make things more interesting. There are several ways you can get points:

Picking correctly

Exactly right: 10 points

One off, either way: 5 points

For example:

  • If you guess that Tyler Ennis will go to the Toronto Raptors with the 20th pick, and he goes with the 20th pick, you get the full 10 points.
  • If you guess that Tyler Ennis will go to the Toronto Raptors with the 20th pick, and he’s picked either 19th or 21st, you get five points.
  • If the Toronto Raptors trade the pick to the Denver Nuggets, and Tyler Ennis goes 20th overall, then you still get the full points.

It’s much easier to organize if you leave space to write down the actual selection next to predicted picks.

Wrong pick: -1

Subtract one point for each player you project as a first-rounder who does not get drafted in the first round.


Correct lock: 5 points

You get three “locks,” or picks you’re extremely confident with. One lock can be chosen from picks 1-10. Another can be taken from picks 11-20, and another between picks 21-30. You can designate these before the draft takes place. Your "locks" have to be exactly right in order for you to recieve points and will have to be for the correct team (so if a different team trades for the pick, you won't get any points regardless if the player you had locked in that spot is chosen).

For example, let's say you choose the following locks:

  • Joel Embiid to Orlando at No. 4
  • T.J. Warren to Chicago at No. 16
  • Jerami Grant to Phoenix at No. 27

These would be allowed because you only have one lock for each of the allowed slots (1-10, 11-20, 21-30). In this scenario, if you locked Grant to the Suns at No. 27 then Phoenix would have to take him in that spot for you to get extra points. If you predict this correctly, you'd be awarded 5 extra points in addition to the 10 you already secured by picking the correct player in that spot.


Each trade by your chosen team: 5

It’s simple: pick any two teams that you think will complete trades during the draft. Whenever one of those teams is involved in a trade, in any capacity, then you get an extra five points. If both of your chosen teams make a trade with each other, it’s an extra ten points.

Miscellaneous Prop Questions

To spice things up, there are also a series of prop bet-like questions that you can be awarded points for if you guess the correct answer. The two questions below are worth 3 and 5 points respectively:

  • Will Kevin Love get traded on draft night? Y/N (3 points for correct Y/N)
  • Assuming he is traded, which team will he be traded to? (5 points for correct team only)

And these questions are worth 1 point each:

  • Will Joel Embiid slip out of the top three picks?
  • Will Dario Saric go in the lottery?
  • Will the Spurs draft an overseas player?
  • Will the Knicks acquire a first-round pick?
  • Will the Toronto Raptors draft a Canadian player (8 are eligible)
  • Will Drake be at the draft?
  • Will Mallory Edens be at the draft?
  • Will Aaron Craft get drafted?
  • Bonus: Without looking it up, name the new deputy commissioner. (1 point)

Sound good?

You can print off a copy of the spreadsheet above here. Good luck, nerd.

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