Perhaps no team has more to gain — and more to lose — at Tuesday’s NBA Draft lottery than the Rockets.
Houston enters the lottery drawing tied with the Pistons and Magic for the best odds (14 percent) to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. If the Rockets do end up at the top of the draft board, they would likely select Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham, a potential franchise cornerstone with an elite combination of size, shooting and playmaking ability.
However, if Houston’s pick falls outside of the top four, it would be conveyed to Oklahoma City. (The Thunder received multiple pick-swap options as part of the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook deal in 2019). That would be a disastrous result considering the Rockets are coming off a season in which they had to trade James Harden and finished 17-55 overall, the worst record in the league.
How will this year’s drawing play out for a team desperate to acquire a rising star?
Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about the 2021 NBA Draft lottery, including the TV channel, start time and every team’s percentage odds to win the No. 1 overall pick.
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What time is the NBA Draft lottery in 2021?
- Date: June 22, 2021
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
The 2021 NBA Draft lottery drawing will be conducted on Tuesday, June 22, before Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
What channel is the NBA Draft lottery on?
The 2021 NBA Draft lottery can be watched on ESPN or streamed via the Watch ESPN app.
How does the NBA Draft lottery work?
The NBA Draft lottery will determine the order of the top four draft picks this year. After the first four teams are locked in, the rest of the lottery order goes by inverse regular-season record. The actual lottery drawing procedure will occur before the ESPN broadcast, and the 2021 NBA Draft order will be announced shortly after.
Here’s the in-the-weeds explanation for the ping-pong ball drawing method, straight from the NBA:
Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams. The lottery machine is manufactured by the Smart Play Company, a leading manufacturer of state lottery machines throughout the United States. Smart Play also weighs, measures and certifies the ping-pong balls before the drawing.
The drawing process occurs in the following manner: All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for 20 seconds, and then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds, and then the second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the No. 1 pick. The same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second through fourth picks.
If the same team comes up more than once, the result is discarded and another four-ball combination is selected. Also, if the one unassigned combination is drawn, the result is discarded and the balls are drawn again. The length of time the balls are mixed is monitored by a timekeeper who faces away from the machine and signals the machine operator after the appropriate amount of time has elapsed.
NBA Draft lottery odds 2021
Under the 2021 format, the three worst teams (Rockets, Pistons and Magic) will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery.
Here are each team’s lottery odds with the percent chances to land each pick (via Tankathon).
2021 NBA Draft lottery team representatives
Here are the representatives who will appear on camera for each lottery team.
|Charlotte Hornets||Miles Bridges||Player|
|Chicago Bulls||Marc Eversley||General manager|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Koby Altman||General manager|
|Detroit Pistons||Ben Wallace||NBA legend|
|Golden State Warriors||Rick Welts||President and chief operating officer|
|Houston Rockets||Hakeem Olajuwon||NBA legend|
|Indiana Pacers||Nancy Leonard||Former Pacers executive and widow to Hall of Fame coach Bobby “Slick” Leonard|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Anthony Edwards||Player|
|New Orleans Pelicans||Swin Cash||Vice president of basketball operations and team development|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Nazr Mohammed||Oklahoma City Blue GM/Thunder pro scout|
|Orlando Magic||Jeff Weltman||President of basketball operations|
|Sacramento Kings||Monte McNair||General manager|
|San Antonio Spurs||Peter J. Holt||Managing partner|
|Toronto Raptors||Fred VanVleet||Player|