NBA teams with worst record not selected 1st overall last 5 seasons


NBA teams with the worst record have not selected first overall the last five seasons in the draft lottery. Is the NBA draft lottery fair to all lottery teams, and/or does it only complicate the draft process? The Portland Trail Blazers had a 10.5% chance of receiving the No. 1 overall selection, and the team ended up at the No. 3 spot.

Entering the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets each held a 14% probability of winning the No. 1 overall selection, the highest chance among the 14 lottery teams. In this year’s lottery, the Spurs won the first overall pick. They are projected to draft top prospect Victor Wembanyama.

2023 NBA Draft First Round

2023 NBA Draft Order

1.) San Antonio Spurs

2.) Charlotte Hornets

3.) Portland Trail Blazers

4.) Houston Rockets

5.) Detroit Pistons

6.) Orlando Magic

7.) Indiana Pacers

8.) Washington Wizards

9.) Utah Jazz

10.) Dallas Mavericks

11.) Orlando Magic (from Chicago Bulls)

12.) Oklahoma City Thunder

13.) Toronto Raptors

14.) New Orleans Pelicans

15.) Atlanta Hawks

16.) Utah Jazz (from Minnesota Timberwolves)

17.) Los Angeles Lakers

18.) Miami Heat

19.) Golden State Warriors

20.) Houston Rockets (from Los Angeles Clippers)

21.) Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix Suns)

22.) Brooklyn Nets

23.) Portland Trail Blazers (from New York Knicks)

24.) Sacramento Kings

25.) Memphis Grizzlies

26.) Indiana Pacers (from Cleveland Cavaliers)

27.) Charlotte Hornets (from Denver Nuggets via New York Knicks and OKC Thunder)

28.) Utah Jazz (from Philadelphia 76ers via Boston Celtics)

29.) Indiana Pacers (from Boston Celtics)

30.) Los Angeles Clippers (from Milwaukee Bucks via Houston Rockets)

Should the Detroit Pistons have won the No. 1 overall selection over other NBA teams?

The Detroit Pistons finished the 2022-23 season with an NBA-worst 17-65 (.207) record. They had a 14% chance of winning the No. 1 overall selection for the 2023 NBA Draft. However, the Pistons ended up receiving the No. 5 spot. Detroit has not ended a season above .500 since 2018-19.

Fortunately, the Pistons were able to draft Cade Cunningham first overall in 2021. So, the NBA draft lottery does have its positives. For this year’s draft lottery, the Spurs won the No. 1 pick for the chance to select Victor Wembanyama, a 7-foot-4 professional basketball player from France for Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro A.

Additionally, the three NBA teams with a 14% probability of landing the No. 1 overall pick were selected in the top five. The Charlotte Hornets (12.5%) are picking second, and the Trail Blazers (10.5%) are at No. 3.

Portland had only a 42.1% chance of earning a top-5 selection. In the end, the Spurs, Pistons, and Rockets were worthy of receiving the No. 1 pick. This lottery concept is supposed to prevent NBA teams from having the incentive to tank.

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