NBA Draft Lottery: Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Draft Event

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The NBA draft lottery is one of the biggest events of the offseason, and it is certain to make a huge impact on the league going forward.

This system has legitimately changed the course of basketball history, as the top players in each draft can go to any of the 14 teams that missed the playoffs. In 2008, the Chicago Bulls were fortunate to be able to draft Derrick Rose despite having low odds for the first pick. 

While this year's class has no sure-fire superstars, every team would still like the top pick to help improve the organization for the future.

In order to help you keep up with this important event, here is a guide of everything you need to know. 


When: Tuesday, May 21

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: Disney/ABC's Times Square Studios, New York City

Watch: ESPN


Lottery Odds

No.TeamOdds of getting 1st pick
1Orlando Magic25 percent
2Charlotte Bobcats19.9 percent
3Cleveland Cavaliers15.6 percent
4Phoenix Suns11.9 percent
5New Orleans Pelicans8.8 percent
6Sacramento Kings6.3 percent
7Detroit Pistons3.6 percent
8Washington Wizards3.5 percent
9Minnesota Timberwolves1.7 percent
10Portland Trail Blazers*1.1 percent
11Philadelphia 76ers0.8 percent
12Toronto Raptors**0.7 percent
13Dallas Mavericks0.6 percent
14Utah Jazz0.5 percent

*Portland's pick goes to the Charlotte Bobcats if it falls outside of the top 12. 

**Toronto's pick goes to the Oklahoma City Thunder if it falls outside of the top 3 (via USA Today). 


Potential Top Picks

Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

Few players in this draft have more upside than Nerlens Noel. He is already an elite shot-blocker who has the athleticism to be successful on the offensive end as well. 

However, there is a lot of risk associated with the center. Primarily, he tore his ACL during the regular season and is not expected to return until at least next Christmas, according to Keith Langlois of

Even when healthy, he is still a little small for a center in both height and weight, and he must put on a lot of strength to compete at the next level. Additionally, he is very raw offensively and must learn technique to help create his own shot.

Still, teams at the top of the lottery are looking for players to turn around a franchise. Noel has that ability, and he is worth the huge gamble by taking him first overall.


Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

If a team feels it needs backcourt help, it is tough to find a better option than Ben McLemore. In his one year at Kansas, the guard proved that he could be a big-time scorer at one of the highest levels of the sport.

McLemore is a good shooter who forces defenders to guard him closely, although he also has the ability to create his own shot off the dribble. He is also athletic enough to finish above the rim when he is near the basket.

While the young player was a bit inconsistent this past season, the skills that helped him succeed will translate well to the NBA. If he can put it all together, he will be a very good player.

Any squad looking to add a scoring threat would be smart to grab McLemore with the first pick.


Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

If Trey Burke was a few inches taller, it would be tough to imagine teams passing on him with the first overall pick. 

The point guard had an outstanding season at Michigan where he averaged 19.2 points and 6.7 assists per game. He displayed the ability to create shots for his teammates as well as score on his own in a number of different ways. 

Additionally, his leadership was on display throughout the NCAA tournament when he led the Wolverines to the national championship game before falling to Louisville.

Unfortunately, he measured at just under 6'0" at the scouting combine, which is certain to cause some doubts among NBA general managers. Still, he is qualified to be the top overall pick for any club that needs to draft a point guard for the future.



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