Hawks’ lottery odds nearly finalized

dhz190128092 atl vs lac

Over the weekend, the Hawks had the lottery odds for their own pick finalized. Even with their admirable rise over the final 50 games of the season, Atlanta finished with the fifth-worst record in the NBA – made official on Sunday night when the Mavericks beat the Grizzlies. That gives the Hawks a 10.5% chance to pick #1 overall and a 42.1% to chose in the top four.

This is the first year the NBA’s severely flattened lottery odds kick into effect. The New York Knicks, who have clinched the worst overall record, only have a 14% chance at receiving the first pick, which is the same odds as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. Every team in the lottery has at least 0.5% chance at selecting first and a 2.4% chance of a top-four pick.

The way it will work is the first four picks will be chosen by ping-pong balls. After that, the teams will align in order from the worst record to the best. Being that the Hawks have the fifth-worst record in the league, they cannot select lower than 9th in this year’s draft. Chris Kirshner of the Athletic provides us with the odds that the Hawks select at each pick.

  1. 10.5%
  2. 10.5%
  3. 10.6%
  4. 10.5%
  5. 2.2%
  6. 19.6%
  7. 26.7%
  8. 8.7%
  9. 0.6%

So even though the Hawks have clinched fifth-place among the NBA’s worst records, they only have a 2.2% of picking in the 5th spot. Their most likely selection is 7th, but they do have a 44.3% of moving up. This isn’t going to be the anti-climactic NBA lottery that we have all become accustomed to.

On that night, the Hawks will also be paying close attention to where the Mavericks’ pick ends up. Atlanta owns Dallas’ pick as long as it does not land inside the top-five. Currently, the Mavericks sit tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the seventh-worst record in the NBA. Both teams have two games remaining on their schedules, and Dallas owns the tiebreaker meaning they have the eighth-best chance at getting the #1 pick and a 29% chance of finishing in the top-four as things stand today. The Mavericks cannot get the #5 pick due to their record being too good, so as long as one of those ping pong balls does not fall their way, the Hawks will have two lottery picks in a loaded draft.

Hawks’ General Manager Travis Schlenk struck a diamond in the rough by picking John Collins 19th overall in his first draft as a general manager. He doubled-down on his wizardry by netting Trae Young and another potential lottery pick for the rights to Luka Doncic. Doncic is the odds-on favorite to take home the Rookie of the Year award, but suddenly that deal is leaning in the Hawks’ favor. One can only imagine what type of talent he might bring with two more lottery picks. May 14th – the night of the NBA lottery – needs to be a day every Hawks’ fan has circled on their calendars.






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