Selection, odds, TV, channel, time

Selection, odds, TV, channel, time
Selection, odds, TV, channel, time

It’s the most dramatic and franchise-changing 15 minutes in television annually.

The NBA draft lottery selection takes place Tuesday night, where 14 draft slots will be decided in Chicago for the NBA draft June 23 in Brooklyn.

Of course, the lottery will have already been decided in a separate room by the time results are made public from Chicago just after 8 p.m. on ESPN. Yet only a select few will know before the envelopes are opened and revealed by deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. The NBA will later release video to the public of the entire back-room lottery drawing (here is last year’s with an explainer on how it works).

[ How NBA draft lottery results will impact Pistons’ decision on Jerami Grant ]

In short, 14 ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 are dumped into a lottery machine (there are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14). Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 four-digit combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating franchises, based on their records. Teams lower in the standings will receive more combinations than those with better records. When the four balls are selected, the team with the winning combination receives the first pick.

That process is repeated for the second, third and fourth picks, then the 10 remaining lottery teams will be slotted Nos. 5-14 in inverse order of their regular-season record.

The final draft picks are displayed during the 2018 NBA draft lottery at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

A representative from each lottery squad is in the room while this happens. A partner from Ernst & Young, who oversees the process, packs, orders and seals the envelopes before bringing them to the studio for the broadcast. No one outside the room knows the results before the broadcast.

The Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons each have a 14% chance to win the lottery and the No. 1 overall pick, and have equal odds at Nos. 2-4. The Oklahoma City Thunder also have about a 14% chance to win the lottery, thanks to their own pick at No. 4 (12.5%) and an unprotected pick at No. 12 from the Los Angeles Clippers (1.5%) via the Paul George trade. The Pistons won it last June, moving up from the No. 2 spot, then selected Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State in July’s draft. Houston picked Jalen Green at No. 2.