NBA Draft Lottery: Odds for Every Team, Time, How to Watch, and More

Everything you need to know about the NBA Draft Lottery on May 12.
May 16, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board at McCormick Place
May 16, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board at McCormick Place / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA playoffs remain ongoing, but Sunday, May 12 marks an important date on the basketball calendar-- the NBA Draft lottery. The draft itself will be held after the conclusion of the postseason and a champion is crowned. The first step in the process, of course, is determining the draft order. That's where the lottery comes in.

As a refresher, the top 14 picks of the draft are determined by the lottery. All 14 teams have a shot at the No. 1 pick. The teams who finished with the worst regular season records get the highest odds, and the more wins recorded, the lower the odds for the No. 1 pick.

For example, the Detroit Pistons finished the 2023-24 season with the worst record in the league and have a 14 percent chance to pick first. Conversely, the Golden State Warriors have the best record of all 14 teams in the lottery, so they have a 0.7% chance to draw the No. 1 pick.

How the NBA Draft Lottery Works

The process is as follows: 14 numbered ping pong balls are placed in a lottery machine and four balls are drawn, which creates 1,001 possible combinations. 1,000 of those are assigned to the lottery teams before the draft, and a spare one is unassigned. The balls are drawn one at a time, and the winning combination gets the first pick. The process is repeated for the second, third and fourth picks. The fifth-through-14th picks fall in sequential order after the order for the first four is determined.

If a combination comes up that is unassigned or for a team that already has been awarded a pick it is discarded and another combination is selected.

This process is undergone just before the lottery broadcast. A representative from Ernst & Young, an assurance company, will oversee the process and then seal the results in envelopes before delivering it to deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, who hosts the lottery drawing on television.

With all that down, here are a few key details you may want to know as the lottery draws near.

What Time is the NBA Draft Lottery?

The NBA Draft Lottery will take place on Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET and will be held in Chicago. The entire broadcast is scheduled to take about 30 minutes, leading into Game 4 of the New York Knicks-Indiana Pacers playoff series at 3:30 p.m. ET.

How to Watch the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery

This year's Draft Lottery will be broadcast on ABC. You can watch it via your local cable or broadcast package. You can also log into ABC.com using your credentials to access a live stream.

NBA Draft Lottery Odds

Below you'll find a full list of the odds each team will have for the No. 1 pick, and the most likely pick each team will end up with based on those odds, per NBA.com.

TEAM

ODDS FOR No. 1 PICK

MOST LIKELY PICK

Detroit Pistons

14.0%

T-1

Washington Wizards

14.0%

T-1

Charlotte Hornets

13.3%

3

Portland Trail Blazers

13.2%

4

San Antonio Spurs

10.5%

5

Toronto Raptors

9.0%

6

Memphis Grizzlies

7.5%

7

Utah Jazz

6.0%

8

Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets)

4.5%

9

Atlanta Hawks

3.0%

10

Chicago Bulls

2.0%

11

Houston Rockets

1.5%

12

Sacramento Kings

0.8%

13

Golden State Warriors

0.7%

14

NBA Draft Pick Protections

You may notice that the Brooklyn Nets are included in the NBA Draft lottery, but will not be using their pick. That is because they owe the pick to the Houston Rockets, regardless of how the lottery turns out.

The Nets' case is cut-and-dry but there are a few other teams in the lottery this year who may have to give up their draft pick should it end up in a certain range. We will recap those teams below so you can fully appreciate the stakes of the lottery.

  • The Golden State Warriors must give up their draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers if they pick anywhere from No. 5 to No. 14. In other words, the Dubs must get a top four pick in the lottery or the pick belongs to the Trail Blazers.
  • Speaking of, the Rockets must give up their own draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder if it falls between No. 5 and No. 14 in the lottery. In other words, the Rockets must pick in the top four if they're to keep their first-round pick. What happens with Houston's pick has nothing to do with the Brooklyn pick; the Rockets will get that no matter what.
  • The Utah Jazz must give up their draft pick to the Thunder if they end up between No. 11 and No. 14 in the lottery. The Jazz must secure a top 10 placement to keep their draft pick.
  • The Toronto Raptors must give up their draft pick to the San Antonio Spurs if the lottery determines they will pick between No. 7 and No. 14. If the Raptors secure a top six pick, they will keep their selection.

That's just about everything you need to know about the draft lottery. Enjoy!


Published
Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.