Standings Watch: Thunder inching closer to better lottery odds

On a 12-game losing streak, not all is bad for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they continue to improve their draft positioning
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After a better than expected start to the season, things have changed for the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

With Al Horford and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sidelined long-term, players being traded away and waived over the past month and other small injuries sprinkled in, OKC has struggled of late. 

Since the Horford and Gilgeous-Alexander news came out last month, the Thunder have won just one game. Overall, they're on a 12-game skid and continue to improve their draft lottery odds. 

With 13 games left in the season, there shouldn't be too much movement in relation to where their lottery odds end up. While Oklahoma City currently has the fifth-best lottery odds of any team, they're likely not going to get within the top-three or fall further than the sixth-best odds.

With what is widely regarded as a loaded upcoming draft class, the Thunder should get a franchise cornerstone wherever they land in the draft. While a recent mock draft has them taking Tennessee's Keon Johnson, there is a variety of prospect possibilities as Oklahoma City will likely choose the best available player at their picks, regardless of position.

With the updated lottery rules, Oklahoma City won't need to have the worst record to have the best chance at No. 1. Rather, the worst their record, the better their odds at getting that coveted pick.

Here are the current lottery odds:

  1. Houston Rockets (15-44)
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-44)
  3. Detroit Pistons (18-41)
  4. Orlando Magic (18-40)
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-39)
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-37)
  7. Sacramento Kings (24-35)
  8. Chicago Bulls (24-34)
  9. Toronto Raptors (25-34)
  10. New Orleans Pelicans (25-33)

With sole possession of the fifth-best lottery odds, the 12-game losing streak has drastically increased the Thunder's chances of selecting a franchise-changing talent in the 2021 NBA Draft. Over the next week, Oklahoma City will take on the Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans, none of which will be easy games.