Re: [Pointless Rant] Rockets have better record than Knicks
Basically picks are done on a lottery/non-lottery basis. If you aren't in the playoffs, then you are automatically in the lottery and in for a (tiny) chance of a first 3 picks. Houston had the best record out of all lottery teams, so we are in 14th place. If you are in the playoffs, then picks 15-30 are determined by reverse order of record, so East's seeds 6, 7, 8 would be 17, 16, 15th pick in the draft.
This is actually a fair system, except in the Rockets case this year obviously (since it would be disadvantageous if a team could be in the playoffs for the 6th seed AND have a top 10 pick or something).