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In The NBA, Even The Draft Lottery Is Going Virtual

In The NBA, Even The Draft Lottery Is Going Virtual

The NBA is planning to conduct the draft lottery as a virtual one on August 20 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The idea was to have the lottery in May, but, due to the league suspension, it had to be postponed.  If everything is fine, it will take place next week.

The NBA Draft Lottery Goes Virtual

As we all know, the regular basketball season is coming to an end quicker than many would like, so the NBA is wanting to hold the draft lottery virtually, with 14 team representatives showing up via virtual displays.

Shams Charania of The Athletic, who shared the news of the updated schedule, adds that the 14 teams taking part in the event will do so remotely through a video feed.  At this time, many sport-related events are held this way in order to protect the players and staffers from the lethality of COVID-19.  The NFL Draft was held virtually this past April, and proved to be more successful than anyone had expected.

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The NBA draft lottery will be disputed in Chicago next Tuesday, May 20, and the Washington Wizards have the ninth-best chances of winning in this year’s virtual version.  That gives them a 4.5 score chance at the No. 1 average pick and 20.2 chance to be chosen in the top four.  They will be joined by the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, who, along with the Wizards, were eliminated in Orlando.  Eventually, three more teams of the Western Conference will also take part in the event.

In addition to those teams, the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets are to be considered on the event. These teams were not included in the bubble in Orlando, Florida.

There are eight teams who sit at the top for the virtual lottery since they missed out on the NBA Bubble.  These are the Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons, the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Hornets.  The Warriors, Cavs and Timberwolves are locked up for the best chances of getting the number-one selection.

There is no favorite player in the draft lottery. Mock drafts have gone around a few players at the top of the list. However, some names feature as the most important, like James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball.  As a matter of fact, the Wizards will need a stroke of luck to move one step up and have a possibility to get one of them.

The NBA Tries To Level The Court

The NBA Board of Governors established changes to the lottery system on September 28, 2017.  Under the approved format, the virtual NBA draft lottery will make sure that the team with the worst record will get no worse than the fifth selection. Then, under the pre-2019 system, the team with the worst record would get no lower than fourth.


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The newest system will determine the odds at the top of the NBA lottery so that the teams involved with the three worst regular-season scores will each get a 14 percent possibility of winning the lottery.  This will be the 36th annual NBA draft lottery and it will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2020 NBA Draft.  Drawings will be done to establish the first four picks, and the remainder of the teams will choose in positions five through 15 in inverse order of their 2019-2020 regular season scores.

This year’s lottery procedure will be conducted in a separate room just before an ESPN broadcast.  Select media participants, NBA authorities, executives of the teams involved and the accounting firm of Ernst and Young will attend the drawings. This will be a huge event broadcast nationwide; all basketball fans are anxiously waiting to see what next year might bring.  We already know it might bring another bubble.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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