The NBA regular season ended Thursday night. While most of the attention is rightfully directed toward the 16 teams that made the playoffs, Thursday night also had some interesting implications for the NBA draft lottery.
Wins Thursday night by the Kings and Raptors cost both teams some lottery chances, and losses helped the Hornets, Cavs, Kings and Nets.
The NBA held a drawing on Friday to determine tiebreakers between the Hornets and Cavs, the Kings and Nets, the Warriors and Raptors, the Knicks and Mavs, the Clippers and Hawks, the Lakers and Grizzlies, and the Bulls and Spurs.
The results are as follows:
•Cleveland (21-45) won a tiebreaker with New Orleans.
•Sacramento (22-44) won a tiebreaker with New Jersey.
•Golden State (23-43) won a tiebreaker with Toronto.
•New York (36-30) won a tiebreaker with Dallas, and Dallas won a tiebreaker with Utah.
•L.A. Clippers (40-26) won a tiebreaker with Atlanta.
•L.A. Lakers (41-25) won a tiebreaker with Memphis.
•Chicago (50-16) won a tiebreaker with San Antonio.
Of the tiebreakers, the one with the biggest impact was between the Warriors and Raptors. The Warriors won the coin toss, upping their chances significantly that they will have the seventh pick in the draft (72 percent) and will therefore retain their pick. If they had lost the toss, they likely would have drafted eighth (everything is still contingent on the lottery) and would have had to turn their pick over to the Jazz due to a previous trade agreement.
Final odds for the draft lottery were set, as well. You can play at the different scenarios on our Lottery Mock Draft simulator. But here's a quick look at where the 14 lottery teams stand.
Charlotte Bobcats (7-59)
25% chance of winning the lottery
Not much has gone right for the Bobcats in the Michael Jordan era. The Bobcats' .106 winning percentage will live in infamy for a long time. Their only solace? This team desperately needs a star and currently has the best odds of any team in the NBA of landing him. If the Bobcats can win the lottery and land Anthony Davis, they will quickly get back on track. If they don't? It could be a long road of ugly.
Washington Wizards (20-46)
19.9% of chance winning the lottery
The Wizards actually finished really strong. They won their last six games and went 8-2 in the final 10-game stretch. John Wall started playing better. So did rookie Jan Vesely. But if the Wizards really want to supercharge what's been an uncomfortable rebuilding process, Davis is the guy to do it. If they don't land Davis, however, a consolation prize of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bradley Beal would be a very significant piece of the puzzle.
Cleveland Cavaliers (21-45)
13.8% chance of winning the lottery
The Cavs scored their point guard and power forward of the future in the 2011 NBA draft. This year they are looking for a wing and, if they don't get the No. 1 pick, will likely take whoever is left between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal and Harrison Barnes.
New Orleans Hornets (21-45)
13.7% chance of winning the lottery
The Hornets actually played very hard down the stretch, but weren't rewarded for it as they eventually ended up tied for the third-worst record, and then lost a coin toss. They are looking for both a point guard and bigs. Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond will be at the top of their list if they don't land Davis.
Sacramento Kings (22-44)
7.6% chance of winning the lottery
Obviously, adding Anthony Davis next to DeMarcus Cousins on the Kings' front line would do wonders for Sacramento's defense. If they don't get Davis, either Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes would be a no-brainer for them.
New Jersey Nets (22-44)
7.5% chance of winning the lottery
The Nets are praying that they convert that 7.5 percent chance into some luck on lottery night. If they don't get one of the top three picks, they have to ship their pick over to the Blazers as part of the Gerald Wallace trade. If the Nets have the pick, they'd obviously take Davis at No. 1. Kidd-Gilchrist and Beal round out the top three for them. The Blazers also would look hard at Beal, Harrison Barnes and perhaps Kendall Marshall if they get the pick.
Golden State Warriors (23-43)
3.6% chance of winning lottery
It came down to a coin flip, and perhaps the Warriors can avoid karma this year. After blatantly tanking all season, it looks like the odds are finally in their favor to keep the No. 7 pick. The Warriors would obviously love to have Anthony Davis in the middle. Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes would also be great gets for them. If the Jazz get this pick (which could happen if a team below the Warriors leapfrogs them on lottery night), I wouldn't be shocked to see them land Kendall Marshall or Damian Lillard.
Toronto Raptors (23-43)
3.5% chance of winning lottery
The Raptors are in need of both a point guard and a small forward. Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes and Perry Jones are all possibilities. So are Kendall Marshall and Damian Lillard.
Detroit Pistons (25-41)
1.9% chance of winning the lottery
If somehow the Pistons could turn that 1.9 percent into the No. 1 pick, I can't think of a better fit for Anthony Davis. He'd be the perfect complement to Greg Monroe. If they can't get him, they may have to gamble on a guy like Andre Drummond, Perry Jones or even John Henson. The Pistons desperately need some length and athleticism on their front line.
New Orleans Hornets (via the LA Clippers) 26-40
1.1% chance of winning the lottery
The Cavs actually landed the No. 1 pick in the draft from this position last year ... so anything's possible. If the pick stays at No. 10, look for the Hornets to grab a big like Tyler Zeller or a point guard like Kendall Marshall or Damian Lillard.
Portland Trail Blazers (28-38)
0.8% chance of winning the lottery
The Blazers need guards and a center. But at this point in the draft, you probably just grab the best player available. Perry Jones, Austin Rivers, Terrence Ross and Jeremy Lamb should all be in the mix here.
Milwaukee Bucks (31-35)
0.7% chance of winning the lottery
The Bucks struck gold picking No. 10 a few years ago when they landed Brandon Jennings. This year the picture is more complicated. We have them taking Terrence Jones in our mock draft. Jared Sullinger is another possibility.
Phoenix Suns (33-33)
0.6% chance of winning the lottery
The Suns are, most likely, going to lose Steve Nash. This draft may be a good time to find his replacement. As is the case with nearly every team in the league, if the Suns pull off a miracle and win the lottery, Davis would be a perfect choice. However, if they're drafting 13th overall, someone like Austin Rivers or even Tony Wroten could be an interesting pick here.
Houston Rockets (34-32)
0.5% chance of winning the lottery
The Rockets also picked No. 14 last year. They are stacked with talented young players. But what they lack is star power. A shocking lotto win would net them Davis, but assuming they don't, the team probably takes the best player off the board. We have them taking UConn guard Jeremy Lamb at No. 14.
Rest of the First Round
17. Houston Rockets (via the New York Knicks)
18. Dallas Mavericks
19. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah)
19. Orlando Magic
20. Denver Nuggets
21. Boston Celtics
22. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)
23. Atlanta Hawks
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (via LA Lakers)
27. Miami Heat
29. Chicago Bulls
30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio Spurs)