2015 NBA Draft Lottery
The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery took place Tuesday night, May 19. InsideHoops.com attended, as always. This is the order of team selection for the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft: 14) Thunder, 13) Suns, 12) Jazz, 11) Pacers, 10) Heat, 9) Hornets, 8) Pistons, 7) Nuggets, 6) Kings, 5) Magic, 4) Knicks, 3) Sixers, 2) Lakers, 1) Timberwolves.
More coverage later tonight.
2015 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY PREVIEW
The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery, where ping-pong balls supplant basketballs as the tools of determining supremacy, will be
held at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, May 19 and will be televised on ESPN at approximately 8:30 p.m.
The 31st annual NBA Draft Lottery will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2015 NBA Draft.
The actual Lottery procedure will take place in a separate room just prior to the national broadcast on ESPN.
Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible
combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Prior to the lottery, 1,000 of
those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.
The lottery machine is manufactured by the Smart Play Company, a leading manufacturer of state lottery machines
throughout the United States. Smart Play also weighs, measures and certifies the ping-pong balls prior to the drawing.
The drawing process occurs in the following manner: All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for
20 seconds; then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds,
and then second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and
then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the number one pick. The
same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second pick and then again for the
If the same team comes up more than once, the result is discarded and another 4-ball combination is selected. Also, if the
one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls are drawn to the top again.
The length of time the balls are mixed is monitored by a timekeeper who faces away from the machine and signals the
machine operator after the appropriate amount of time has elapsed.
The Minnesota Timberwolves finished the season with the NBA’s worst record (16-66), so they will be assigned the first
250 combinations. The Oklahoma City Thunder, the best team in the lottery at 45-37, will have only five combinations
out of 1,000.
The order of selection for the teams that do not win one of the top three picks will be determined by inverse order of their
regular-season record. Thus, Minnesota can pick no lower than fourth, New York (17-65) no lower than fifth and
Philadelphia (18-64) no lower than sixth.
Denise Pelli, a partner in the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, overseas the entire lottery process and stuffs and seals
the envelopes prior to bringing them to the studio for the broadcast. The announcement of the Lottery results will be
made by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. A second representative from each participating team will be seated
on stage. Neither the Deputy Commissioner nor the team representatives on stage will be informed of the Lottery results
prior to the opening of the envelopes.
The team whose logo is in the last envelope opened will pick first in the 2015 NBA Draft, to be held on Thursday, June
25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
InsideHoops.com attends/covers the NBA Draft Lottery, and every aspect of the NBA draft, each year.
2015 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY PERCENT CHANCE TO WIN FIRST PICK
May 18, 2015
Below are the percentage chance that each team has at winning the No.1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft:
1 Minnesota 25.00%
2 New York 19.90%
3 Philadelphia 15.60%
4 LA Lakers 11.90%
5 Orlando 8.80%
6 Sacramento 6.30%
7 Denver 4.30%
8 Detroit 2.80%
9 Charlotte 1.70%
10 Miami 1.10%
11 Indiana 0.80%
12 Utah 0.70%
13 Phoenix 0.60%
14 Oklahoma City 0.50%
History of NBA Draft Lottery's Development
May 18, 2015
The NBA Board of Governors, meeting in Salt Lake City in June of 1984, voted to adopt a lottery
system among the nonplayoff teams to determine their order of selection in the first round of the
NBA Draft beginning in 1985.
From 1966 through 1984, the teams that finished with the worst records in each conference
participated in a coin flip to determine which team would draft first. The remaining teams picked
in inverse order of their wonlost records. Under the system adopted prior to the 1985 NBA Draft,
the NBA Lottery determines the order of selection for the nonplayoff teams (or the teams holding
their picks through trades) for the first round only. Teams pick in inverse order of their records in
the second round (or, prior to the draft being reduced to two rounds in 1989, in all succeeding
Under a procedural change adopted by the Board of Governors in April of 1986, the Lottery
determines the order of selection for the first three teams only. The remaining nonplayoff teams
select in inverse order of their regular season records. Therefore, the team with the worst record
in the league is assured of picking no worse than fourth, the team with the secondworst record no
worse than fifth and so on.
In a further refinement in October of 1989, the Board of Governors adopted a weighted system
beginning with the 1990 NBA Draft Lottery, which included 11 teams due to expansion. The
team with the worst record during the regular season received 11 chances at the top pick (out of a
total of 66), the secondworst team got 10 chances and the team with the best record among the
nonplayoff clubs got one chance.
The Board of Governors approved a modification of the Lottery system in November of 1993
that, effective with the 1994 NBA Draft Lottery, increased the chances of the teams with the
worst records in the league winning one of the top three picks in the draft while decreasing the
lottery chances of the teams with the best records. The new system increased the chances of the
team with the worst record drawing the first pick in the draft from 16.7 percent to 25 percent,
while decreasing the chances of the team with the best record among lottery teams from 1.5
percent to 0.5 percent.
Under the system, 14 pingpong balls numbered 1 through 14 are placed in a drum. There are
1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of
selection. Prior to the Lottery, 1,000 combinations are assigned to the Lottery teams based on
their order of finish during the regular season. Four balls are drawn to the top to determine a four-
digit combination. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the number one
pick. The four balls are placed back in the drum and the process is repeated to determine the
number two and three picks. (Note: If the one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls are
drawn to the top again.)
In October of 1995, the Board of Governors increased the number of teams participating in the
Lottery from 11 to 13 to account for the addition of expansion teams Toronto and Vancouver.
Starting in 1996, the team with the worst record in the Lottery continued to have a 25% chance of
winning the first pick, teams two through six have slightly fewer chances, team seven has the
same number of chances and teams eight through 12 have slightly more chances. The number of
chances for team 13 did not change.
The 2004 NBA Draft Lottery increased to 14 teams with the addition of the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Bobcats, as part of their expansion agreement were locked into the fourth position in the
2004 Draft and therefore did not have a chance to receive other picks in the Lottery.
The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery decides picks one through 14 and the chances are below for each
teams odds to receive the number one selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Generic NBA Draft Lottery Team Odds Breakdown
Team 1: 250
Team 2: 199
Team 3: 156
Team 4: 119
Team 5: 88
Team 6: 63
Team 7: 43
Team 8: 28
Team 9: 17
Team 10: 11
Team 11: 8
Team 12: 7
Team 13: 6
Team 14: 5
Note: Tied teams split the number of chances and a blind draw determines which team receives
an extra chance if the combined number of chances can not be split evenly.
2014 NBA Draft Lottery Results
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a 1.7 percent chance of obtaining the first selection, shockingly beat the odds to win the first overall pick in NBA Draft 2014:
7. LA Lakers
9. Charlotte (From Detroit)
10. Philadelphia (From New Orleans)
12. Orlando (From New York via Denver)