NBA Draft Lottery 2024: How to Watch, Spurs' Odds & More

Ahead of Sunday's NBA Draft Lottery, here's where the San Antonio Spurs fall and what could be in the cards for the league's youngest team.
May 16, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board at McCormick Place one year ago.
May 16, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board at McCormick Place one year ago. / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN ANTONIO, Tx. — One year after earning the rights to draft Victor Wembanyama at No. 1 overall in the 2024 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs are back in the lottery with a chance to do it again.

There might not be a big-time star in the lottery this year — at least, not one the likes of Wembanyama — but there are prospects San Antonio could look into to pair with Wembanyama. Kentucky's Rob Dillingham is one of them, as is Gonzaga's Donovan Clingan, but bringing on either of those prospects depends on where the NBA's youngest team will be picking.

That will be determined Sunday afternoon. Here's everything you need to know:

How Does the NBA Draft Lottery Work?

The 14 teams with the worst record in the NBA are pooled together in what's known as "the lottery."

Draft selection beyond pick No. 14 is determined by overall record and playoff finish — if applicable — but the first 14 picks are randomized, to an extent. In order to establish a sense of fairness to the league's worse teams, they do gain a slight edge over their competitors. Here's how it works.

Fourteen ping-pong balls are numbered 1-14 and placed in a custom-made lottery machine. Out of those numbers, there are 1,001 possible combinations — 1,000 of which are assigned unevenly to the 14 teams. Naturally, the team with the worst record will be given a few more combinations than the team with the second-worst record, and so on.

After mixing up all of the ping-pong balls, one is drawn until a four-number combination is assembled, and from there, it's simple. The team that's combination is drawn will be awarded the No. 1 overall pick. After that, the team with the next combination will pick second, with repeat combinations — or the one unclaimed — being discarded until a complete order is set.

Last season, the Spurs' winning combination was 14, 8, 5 and 2. It took a tremendous amount of luck between the lottery itself and even the coin flip against the Houston Rockets that led to their specific odds, but it led to a franchise cornerstone in Wembanyama and the beginning of a journey that's not even close to reaching its fullest potential.

READ MORE: Victor Wembanyama's Generational Chase of 2 Spurs Legacies

San Antonio winning it again would mark just the third time in NBA history that a team has won in back-to-back seasons and the first time since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013 and 2014, so while that's not likely, there's always an off chance.

How Can You Watch It & What Are The Odds?

The NBA Draft Lottery will be streamed on ESPN at 2 p.m. CST, when NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum opens up 14 envelopes with the lottery teams on them to announce the winner.

You can also view our coverage following the announcement.

That being said, here are the teams involved and the odds to land the No. 1 pick.

  • Detroit Pistons - 14.0%
  • Washington Wizards - 14.0%
  • Charlotte Hornets - 13.3%
  • Portland Trail Blazers -13.2%
  • San Antonio Spurs - 10.5%
  • Toronto Raptors - 9.0%
  • Memphis Grizzlies - 7.5%
  • Utah Jazz - 6.0 %
  • Brooklyn Nets - 4.5%
  • Atlanta Hawks - 3%
  • Chicago Bulls - 1.5%
  • Sacramento Kings - 0.8%
  • Golden State Warriors - 0.7%

While the Spurs do have a 10.5 percent chance to land the top pick, they're most likely to earn the No. 7 overall pick in the field of 14 with a 26.7 percent chance, wowever, there is also a 42.1 percent chance they will land a top-4 pick. There is an interesting caveat, however.

If Toronto's lottery pick falls to No. 7 or lower, it will be transferred to the Spurs as the Jakob Poeltl trade continues to hold implications for both franchises. In the best-case scenario, San Antonio will have two lottery picks to either use or deal for another star. The worst case? They get just one, and it's No. 14.

Nothing is set yet, however. Only time will tell what the Spurs' imminent future looks like.


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Matt Guzman

MATT GUZMAN

Matt Guzman is a sports journalist and storyteller from Austin, Texas. He serves as a credentialed reporter and site manager for San Antonio Spurs On SI and a staff writer for multiple collegiate sites in the same network. In the world of professional sports, he is a firm believer that athletes are people, too, and intends to tell stories of players and teams’ true, behind-the-scenes character that otherwise would not be seen through strong narrative writing, hooking ledes and passionate words.