NBA Approves Changes To Draft Lottery System

The NBA Board of Governors today approved changes to the NBA Draft Lottery system that will reduce the odds so that the teams with the three worst records will share the same chance of receiving the No. 1 overall draft pick.  The modifications to the NBA Draft Lottery will be implemented for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Under the revamped format, the NBA Draft Lottery will ensure that the team with the worst record will receive no worse than the fifth pick.  In the current lottery system, which will remain in place for the 2018 NBA Draft, the team with the worst record picks no lower than fourth.

“NBA Draft Lottery reform is a meaningful step in our continuous effort to enhance the quality of our games,” said NBA President, League Operations Byron Spruell.  “These changes were necessary to improve the competitive incentives for our teams.”

The new system will level the odds at the top of the NBA Draft Lottery so that the teams with the three worst regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery.  In the current structure, the top seed has 25 percent of the lottery odds, the second seed has 19.9 percent and the third seed has 15.6 percent.

The odds for the remaining participants in the 14-team lottery will be reduced gradually after the top three.  For instance, the difference in lottery odds between the first three seeds (14 percent) and the fourth seed (12.5 percent) will be 1.5 percent.  The difference between the fourth seed and the fifth seed (10.5 percent) will be 2 percent, and the difference between the fifth seed and the sixth seed (9 percent) will be 1.5 percent.

After drawings are conducted for the first four picks of the NBA Draft, the other lottery teams will continue to pick in inverse order of their regular-season record.

Under the modified NBA Draft Lottery format, each team will be assigned the following odds:

 

Team No. 1 Pick
Team 1 14.0%
Team 2 14.0%
Team 3 14.0%
Team 4 12.5%
Team 5 10.5%
Team 6 9.0%
Team 7 7.5%
Team 8 6.0%
Team 9 4.5%
Team 10 3.0%
Team 11 2.0%
Team 12 1.5%
Team 13 1.0%
Team 14 0.5%