LIVE BLOG: 2017 NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night

Latest updates from the NBA Draft Lottery


DETROIT – The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday night, May 16, and there's a ton at stake.

The Boston Celtics are poised to grab a top-three pick because of a trade with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013.

The lottery takes place on Tuesday. ESPN will air the lottery at 8:30 p.m. ET. (Follow the live blog below)

Here are the lottery odds for the 14 NBA lottery teams:


No. 1 pick odds

Top-3 pick odds







L.A. Lakers

15.6 %











New York









New Orleans















Here's more on the NBA Draft Lottery scenarios:

This year's lottery comes with added intrigue thanks to a stacked incoming draft class and some dramatic storylines involving franchises with top odds to win the No. 1 overall pick. See the draft order and lottery odds here.

The Boston Celtics, owner of the best record in East this season, have the best chance to win the top pick in the June 22 draft thanks to a 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets, owners of the worst record in the NBA this season. 

But another historic NBA franchise stands to lose big in the draft lottery. The Los Angeles Lakers need the ping pong balls to deliver a Top 3 pick, or they lose their 2017 (to the Philadelphia 76ers) and their 2019 (to Orlando for the 2012 Dwight Howard trade) first round draft picks. If they land in the Top 3, they keep their 2017 and 2019 first round selections, but have to send Orlando second round picks in 2017 and 2018. Got that? The Lakers lose or keep two first round picks.

Another potential story is vindication for "The Process" in Philadelphia. Sam Hinkie's master plan to tank his franchise to accrue top draft picks could deliver this year with the Lakers pick, plus their own first round selection, which (because of another trade) they can swap with Sacramento. That could give Philly -- already loaded with young talent in Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Ben Simmons. You can argue the 76ers should hope for the Lakers to keep their pick, because then they get LA's pick, unprotected, in 2018. But this is a draft loaded with talent, so Philly should come out well either way.  

The Kings, now minus Boogie Cousins, are set to add two Top 10 picks in the draft thanks to trading their superstar to New Orleans. The Pelicans keep their pick if it's in the Top 3, but there's about a 10% chance of that happening. 

Outside of those major storylines, the NBA lottery can always come with a surprise. The Detroit Pistons -- who just have a first round pick in this year's draft -- have just a 0.7% chance of winning the top pick -- but that's a chance!

For fun, try out RealGM.com's 2017 NBA Lottery Simulator

And for more fun, read up on the legendary conspiracy theory involving the first-ever NBA Draft Lottery in 1985.



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More background on tonight's lottery:

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash are gone, though on Tuesday they won't be forgotten.

The former All-Stars have as much to do with this NBA draft lottery as the players of tomorrow.

The Boston Celtics can benefit in a big way from trading two former champions, while the Los Angeles Lakers hope a failed trade for one point guard won't cost them a shot at another.

Even though the Celtics will play in the Eastern Conference finals this season, they have a 25 percent of landing the No. 1 pick. The Lakers had the NBA's third-worst record in the league but are in danger of not having a lottery pick at all if the balls bounce the way the odds say they will.

A look at some of the teams to watch Tuesday, and how they got in their spot:
CELTICS: When Boston sent Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn as part of a draft-night trade in 2013, the Celtics not only acquired the Nets' first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, but also the right to swap first-round selections in 2017. The timing couldn't have worked out better, as the Nets tumbled all the way to the worst record in the NBA this season. Boston can select no lower than fourth in the June draft.

LAKERS: Nash and Dwight Howard were on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2012 after the Lakers acquired the two stars in separate trades, but Nash made it through just 65 games over two seasons because of back problems. The Lakers only get to keep the pick they dealt to Phoenix as part of the deal if it lands inside the top three on Tuesday — and there's about a 53 percent chance it won't.

76ERS: The winners of last year's lottery will really "Trust the Process" if they win even bigger Tuesday. If the Lakers fall out of the top three, their pick goes to the 76ers, who would get it from Phoenix per terms of a three-team trade with Milwaukee at the 2015 deadline. And since it starts in the No. 4 spot with its own pick, Philadelphia can arrive at next month's draft potentially owning a pair of top-four selections.

PELICANS: New Orleans made a big move in February when it acquired DeMarcus Cousins from Sacramento, and now the Pelicans will figure out how costly it was. Their pick is only top-three protected, so if the Pelicans don't move up from the 10th spot into the top three spots, the pick goes to the Kings.

MAVERICKS: Dallas is in pretty unfamiliar territory even being in the lottery, where it has appeared just one other time since 2000. The Mavericks start the night in the No. 9 spot and are hoping to move into the top three for the first time since taking eventual co-Rookie of the Year Jason Kidd in 1994.

Here's what happened last year:

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost big for three years, when they appeared to value draft picks more than players.

They got a huge victory Tuesday night, and maybe the wins on the court will soon follow.

The 76ers won the NBA draft lottery, giving them the No. 1 selection in June.

“The pain that we’ve all gone through, the pain of losing is real. You can’t camouflage it,” said coach Brett Brown, who represented the 76ers on stage. “The city has been incredibly patient, tolerant, choose any word you want. I think this validates some of the pain we went through.”

The Los Angeles Lakers finished second but also felt like winners, as they would have dealt their pick to Philadelphia had they fallen out of the top three.

The Boston Celtics, with a pick dealt to them by the Brooklyn Nets, remained in the No. 3 slot.

Nobody moved up in the lottery, which sets the top three picks. The remainder of the 14 teams are slotted in the inverse order of their won-loss record.

The 76ers finished 10-72, just off the worst record in the history of the 82-game schedule, and had a 26.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick (their own 25 percent chance, and Sacramento’s 1.9 percent chance, since the 76ers had the right to swap picks with the Kings from a previous trade.)

They would have garnered another top-five selection had the Lakers tumbled a couple of spots, since they would have been entitled to the pick the Lakers originally dealt to Phoenix for Steve Nash that the 76ers later acquired in another trade.

“It’s been a long year,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Because of the contingencies of the deal, there was a significant chance we would lose the pick. That would have been disappointing. We would have gotten over it and moved on to the summer, but that would have been disappointing.”

Philadelphia certainly won’t complain, not after doing no better than No. 3 in the previous two drafts during a three-year process where the focus was more on building for the future than trying to win in the present.

“We can now make the decision all by ourselves,” said Brown, who is 47-199 in his three seasons. “We don’t have to wait and see what someone else does. It gives us the injection we need.”

Their win certainly won’t quiet those believers in lottery conspiracies, as former 76ers center Dikembe Mutombo — who works for the NBA as a global ambassador — accidentally tweeted congratulations on their victory about four hours earlier. He sent a subsequent tweet saying he was just excited but was keeping his fingers crossed.

“I want to let people know there was no conspiracy,” Mutombo told The Associated Press in a phone interview, saying it was a mistake and that he thought “a lot of people understood the error that was made.”

Lottery night was always going to be the highlight of this season for the 76ers, who started it on a freefall that never stopped. They started 0-18, finishing a 28-game skid dating to 2014-15, en route to a 10-72 record that was just a game better than the all-time worst in an 82-game season.

They never attempted to put a competitive team on the court under general manager Sam Hinkie, who resigned in April after overseeing a plan to accumulate draft picks but not wins. They also have the 24th and 26th picks in the first round, and their young players are expected to be joined perhaps next season by Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, who were previously drafted by Hinkie but haven’t played in the NBA, with Embiid sidelined by foot injuries and Saric remaining in Europe.

“Trust the process. ... Hopefully the last time we’re in the lottery,” Embiid tweeted.

The draft is June 23 in New York, with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram considered the top two picks.

The Lakers will have the No. 2 pick for the second straight year after taking D’Angelo Russell last June. They went 17-65 in Kobe Bryant’s final season.


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