It got a bit lost in the shuffle amidst all of Thursday’s updates, but the NBA provided some important details on how this year’s draft lottery seeding and odds will work. They are as follows:
- The eight teams not included in the Orlando restart will be the top eight teams in the lottery standings.
- The 9-14 spots in the lottery will be made up of the six teams that don’t make the playoffs following this summer’s “seeding games” and possible play-in tournaments. Their seedings and odds will be based on their records as of March 11.
- The rest of the first round will be sorted by record, as usual. The order will be based on teams’ regular season results and the results of the eight seeding games this summer.
With those rules in mind, we have a pretty good sense of how traded first round picks for 2020 will be affected, so let’s take a closer look…
Picks whose fates have essentially been decided:
Cavaliers‘ first-round pick (traded to Pelicans if not in top 10)
- As the league’s second-worst team in 2019/20, the Cavaliers can’t fall below sixth in the lottery, so they’ll keep their pick, which will land anywhere from No. 1 to 6.
Sixers‘ first-round pick (traded to Nets if not in top 14)
- The Sixers have a nine-game lead on Orlando, which means they’ve now clinched a playoff spot and will send their pick to Brooklyn. It’s currently projected to land at No. 19 or 20, but it could move up or down based on this summer’s seeding games.
Pacers‘ first-round pick (traded to Bucks if not in top 14)
- Like the Sixers, the Pacers have now clinched a playoff spot, which assures they’ll send their pick to Milwaukee. This pick is also currently projected to land at No. 19 or 20 (Philadelphia and Indiana are tied at 39-26), but it could move higher or lower once play resumes.
Rockets‘ first-round pick (traded to Nuggets)
- This pick is unprotected, so the Rockets will send it to Denver. At 40-24, the Rockets are tied with Oklahoma City, putting their pick in line to be No. 21 or 22. They’re bunched up with a few teams in the standings though, so that could change when play resumes.
Jazz‘s first-round pick (traded to Grizzlies if it falls between 8-14)
- The Jazz have now clinched a spot in the postseason, so they’ll keep their pick for at least one more year. It’s currently projected to be No. 24 overall, but that may change.
Nuggets‘ first-round pick (traded to Thunder)
- An unprotected pick, the Nuggets’ first-rounder is currently projected to be No. 25. They’ll send it to Oklahoma City.
Clippers‘ first-round pick (traded to Knicks)
- This is another unprotected selection, which the Clippers will send to New York. For now, it projects to be No. 27.
Bucks‘ first-round pick (traded to Celtics)
- The Bucks, who will send this pick to Boston, have a four-game lead for the NBA’s best record, so this selection will likely be No. 30, though it could theoretically move up a spot or two.
Picks whose fates remain up in the air:
Nets‘ first-round pick (traded to Timberwolves if not in top 14)
- At 30-34, the Nets have a half-game lead over Orlando and a six-game cushion over Washington. If they slump when play resumes, there’s a scenario in which they lose their playoff spot. The Magic would have to pass them and the Wizards would have to pull to within four games before beating Brooklyn twice in a row in a play-in tournament.
- If the Nets miss the playoffs, this pick would end up at either No. 13 or 14 in the lottery standings, and Brooklyn would keep it.
- If the Nets hang on a clinch a playoff spot, it figures to be the No. 15, 16, or 17 pick, and they’ll send it to the Timberwolves.
Grizzlies‘ first-round pick (traded to Celtics if it’s not in top six)
- The Grizzlies have a 3.5-game lead over three Western teams (Portland, New Orleans, and Sacramento), with a four-game cushion over San Antonio and a six-game cushion over Phoenix.
- They’re in position to secure a playoff spot, and if they do, they’ll send this pick to the Celtics. It would fall between Nos. 15-17.
- If the Grizzlies lose their playoff spot, they’ll move to No. 14 in the lottery standings. In all likelihood, the pick would end up there and they’d still have to send it to Boston. However, they’d have a minuscule chance (2.4%) of moving into the top four via the lottery, in which case they’d keep the pick.
Thunder‘s first-round pick (traded to Sixers if not in top 20)
- Based on the Thunder’s current 40-24 record, this pick currently projects to be No. 21 or 22, in which case OKC would have to send it to Philadelphia.
- However, if the Thunder lose ground during this summer’s seeding games, they could be surpassed in the standings by as many as three teams, meaning the pick could end up in the No. 18-20 range. In that case, Oklahoma City would keep it.
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