Posts for draft lottery

So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance?

Kevin Kinkead - May 15, 2018

“With the first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Luka Doncic, from Slovenia.”

I mean, no, it’s not gonna happen, but technically it could, and it’s better than the one-in-a-million chance that Lloyd Christmas had of getting together with Mary Swanson.

That’s my lede. That’s how we’re starting this story, with a Dumb and Dumber reference.

Now let’s review the parameters surrounding tonight’s draft lottery:

  • The Sixers get the Lakers’ first round pick if lands at number one overall or 10-13
  • if the pick falls at 2 or 3, Boston gets the selection and the Sixers receive the Kings’ 2019 first-rounder instead
  • there is a 1.1% chance the Sixers land the #1 overall pick
  • there is a 97.1% chance that the pick falls to the Sixers
  • there is a 2.9% chance the pick falls to Boston

There you have it. After a few years of captivating draft lotteries, this year feels a bit dull by comparison.

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The Draft Lottery Participants are Boring

Kevin Kinkead - May 15, 2018

As usual, a mundane mix of owners, co-owners, executives, and other various suits will represent their respective NBA teams at tonight’s draft lottery.

Here’s the exciting list:

The Sixers are sending Blue Coats general manager Elton Brand out to Chicago, which is okay I guess, but I would have sent Nick Foles out there with the Lombardi trophy. Kevin Hart is off the table because he needs to lay low for a little bit. Too much Kevin Hart exposure for me. Meek Mill would be okay. Maybe Bob Saget and Lil Uzi Vert could go out there as a pair.

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Your NBA Draft Lottery Primer: #OneSixEleven IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN

Jim Adair - May 19, 2015

So many white balls. So many.

So many white balls. So many.

Tonight, for all of Sam Hinkie’s maneuvering and planning, the bouncing of some tiny, white balls will play a large part in the Sixers’ future. At around 8:30 p.m., this year’s draft order will be announced. With the third-worst record, the Sixers have a 15.6% shot at landing the top pick. But of bigger concern to many Sixers fans is getting the Heat’s pick at 11 and the Lakers’ pick at 6. The chances of landing either is slim, but this is what happened on my first three lottery simulations last night. I swear.

three lotteries

Those were just the first three. We ran ESPN’s simulation 40 TIMES, and this is what we got:

Voila_Capture 2015-05-19_12-12-23_PM

Favorable scenarios are in green, the rather frequently recurring 5-6 combo in yellow, and NUCLEAR OPTION in red. Overall, the Sixers’ average first pick was 3.25 and they got a second pick 17.5% of the time.

But that was on just one of the simulators.

I went to a different lottery simulator, Tankathon, and ran it a ten more times… because somehow this is my chosen profession. The three most interesting results are below:

tankathon 3

The elusive #onesixeleven didn’t happen – Kyle doesn’t think it exists – but 5, 6 and 11 turned up, along with just 5 and 11, and, as you saw, 5-6.

The Sixers made a nice little graphic to break the odds down for you

Voila_Capture 2015-05-19_12-16-39_PM

… but here’s what you need to know by the numbers:

  • 15.6% – The Sixers’ odds of getting the top overall pick
  • 46.9% – The chances the Sixers’ pick is in the top three
  • 17.3% – The chances the Lakers pick conveys
  • 9.1% – The chances the Heat pick conveys
  • 19% – The odds the Sixers end up with multiple first round picks– slightly higher than in our 40+ simulations
  • 0.28% – The chance the Sixers get #OneSixEleven

And how does all of this ping pong ball stuff actually work? It’s all very confusing:

One representative from every team is ushered into a room where the lottery is conducted in private – the results are shared on live television later in the evening. Fourteen ping pong balls numbered 1-14 are placed into a machine for 20 seconds. Then, the first ball is drawn. Ten seconds later, a second is drawn. Another 10 seconds, and a third ball is removed from the machine. And finally, after 10 more seconds, a fourth ball is drawn.

The order in which the four numbers are drawn is not important – meaning a drawing of 1, 2, 3, and 4 is the same as a drawing of 4, 3, 2, and 1 for the purpose of this exercise. A league official then refers to a massive board showing 1,000 combinations of four digits with a team name assigned to each (this is where the number of combinations each team has factors into the odds). Whichever team’s combination is drawn first is awarded the top pick.

The four balls are then returned to the machine and the process is repeated to determine the winners of the second and third picks. In the event that a combination is drawn for picks #2 or #3 that belongs to a team that has already been awarded a pick via the lottery, the drawing is repeated until a unique winner is determined.

After the top-three selections have been determined, the remaining 11 lottery picks (as well as the 16 non-lottery picks) are sequenced based upon regular season record, from worst to best.

Of the 1,000 possible combinations, the Sixers have 156. But really they just need one of those picked. And then for one (or more) of the teams from 11-14 to get one so they can get the Heat’s pick and for a team to jump into the top three from behind the Lakers so they can get their pick, too. Simple.

NBA Reportedly on Verge of Changing Draft Lottery Because Other Teams are Mad at the Sixers

Jim Adair - October 3, 2014

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Back in July, it was reported that the NBA was looking to reform the draft lottery and wasn’t going to wait to do it. The Sixers, who are deeper inside of a tank than Brad Pitt in Fury, are obviously not keen on that idea, but it looks like it’s going to happen anyway.

According to a Zach Lowe report (via, “the NBA Board of Governors is expected to vote soon on a change to the way the NBA Draft is held, and those changes could go in by the 2015 NBA Draft.” The way the proposal looks now is like this: The four worst teams would have an equal chance to win No. 1 overall pick — a 12% chance — and the team with the worst record could fall all the way down to the seventh pick. According to Lowe, the Sixers aren’t just accidentally in the crosshairs here:

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.22.57 PM

And while we’re all left staring at what’s happening on the court, the Sixers will continue to try to distract from that with — in addition to a 3D Wilt Chamberlain tribute — new uniforms for the cheerleaders, a new mascot (about two seasons after people stopped caring at all), and a fancy new light show. And also, I guess, some semi-professional quality basketball.