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Standings Watch: Thunder within striking distance of second-best odds

Over the past week, the OKC Thunder have continued to position their draft lottery odds favorably

In the month of April, the Oklahoma City Thunder have gone 1-15, which is the worst record in the NBA over that span. Due to this, the Thunder have only continued to improve their draft lottery odds. 

Among the teams who OKC is realistically battling with for this positioning includes the Detroit Pistons (6-10), Orlando Magic (3-12), Minnesota Timberwolves (8-8) and Cleveland Cavaliers (4-11) who have all done better than Oklahoma City this month. While the Thunder haven't necessarily moved up in the lottery standings in the past week, jumping teams that looked out of reach has become more attainable. 

With nine games remaining in the 2020-21 season for Oklahoma City, they're within two games of having the second-best odds, while currently owning the fifth-best.

In an extremely talented 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 are quite a few different options as Oklahoma City will likely choose the best available player at their picks, regardless of position.

With the updated lottery rules, the Thunder 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 top pick.

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Here are the current lottery odds:

  1. Houston Rockets (16-47)
  2. Detroit Pistons (19-44)
  3. Orlando Magic (19-43)
  4. Minnesota Timberwolves (20-44)
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-42)
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-41)
  7. Sacramento Kings (25-37)
  8. Toronto Raptors (26-37)
  9. Chicago Bulls (26-36)
  10. New Orleans Pelicans (28-35)

With sole possession of the fifth-best lottery odds, Oklahoma City likely won't move too much over the final weeks of the season, with the second-best odds being their highest jump on the sixth-best odds being as far as they'd reasonably skid. Over the next few days, the Thunder will take on the Pacers and Suns at home.