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Celtics, Suns, Lakers finish with best NBA draft lottery odds

Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images

With prospects such as Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball leading a star-studded NBA draft class, teams are hoping to land one of the top two or three picks in the 2017 draft lottery on May 16 (ESPN/WatchESPN, 8 p.m. ET). What are the odds for each lottery team?

More: Lottery Mock Draft | Ford's Big Board Insider


The NBA formula gives the greatest chance of winning the top pick to the worst team in the lottery, and the smallest chance to the best team in the lottery, according to each team's regular-season record. So the Boston Celtics (thanks to the Nets' league-worst record) have the best odds this season, followed by the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.

The lottery is used to select which teams get the first three picks in the draft. Then the other 11 teams that qualified for the lottery are placed in the draft in reverse order of their winning percentage, with the worst teams drafting ahead of the better teams.

Tiebreaker: In the case of a tie, the lottery odds are divided between the teams that are tied. For instance, the Knicks and Wolves ended up tied for the sixth-worst record, so they will split the odds (pingpong-ball combinations) apportioned for sixth and seventh in the lottery.

Here's the current lottery order:

Trades and pick protections

  1. Boston owns the rights to swap first-round picks with Brooklyn.

  2. The Lakers will send their first-round pick to the 76ers if it falls outside the top three.

  3. Philadelphia owns the rights to swap picks with Sacramento inside the top 10. If the Kings' pick falls out of the top 10, it will go to the Bulls.

  4. New Orleans will send its first-round pick to Sacramento if it falls outside the top three.