The 2017 NBA Draft Lottery takes place Tuesday, May 16th, and it could not come at a better time. For fans of teams that didn’t make the postseason, the draft lottery is our playoffs. Due to the way the lottery works, it requires a little bit of luck, which is why it’s exciting. Anything can happen, even if the odds are stacked against your team.
What are the odds?
We covered how the draft lottery operates earlier, but essentially, each team has certain odds of landing one of the top three picks. Here are the odds of all lottery teams at landing the No. 1 pick via RealGM:
The Brooklyn Nets have the highest odds at winning the lottery at 25 percent chance, though their pick is owned by the Boston Celtics. The Miami Heat are the least likely to win the lottery at 0.5 percent.
If the ping pong balls don’t fall the Mavs way for the first pick, the team still has a 2 percent chance at the second pick and a 2.4 percent chance at the third pick. The odds of the Mavs picking ninth, where the team is currently slotted, are set at 81.3 percent.
The last time a team beat the odds to win the lottery was in 2014, when the Cavs jumped up from the ninth spot. They selected Andrew Wiggins, setting up the Kevin Love trade that was the final step in bringing LeBron back home—changing the course of the Cavs franchise forever. The team in the ninth slot in this year’s lottery: your very own Dallas Mavericks.
What if the Mavs ... won the lottery?
If the basketball gods answered the prayers I’ve been first-class delivering up to the heavens since November and granted the Mavs the No. 1 pick, it would mean a few things. First, it would mean the front office would have to try very hard to botch the draft this time. The organization’s draft acumen has been criticized, though they’ve had very few opportunities at a pick this high due to their sustained success. Even if they passed on projected top pick Markelle Fultz, the brain trust still has a chance to land an elite player in Josh Jackson or Lonzo Ball.
Second, it almost assuredly would mean the team found its new face of the franchise once Dirk retires. While Mark Cuban has toiled away at signing the big fish in free agency over the years, whoever the Mavs chose with the first overall pick would likely be the perfect player for Dirk to pass the torch to.
Finally, if the Mavs won the draft lottery, it would mean fans should approach the next few years with cautious optimism. For every Anthony Davis and LeBron James, there is an Anthony Bennett and Greg Oden. Even Derrick Rose, a former No. 1 and the youngest player to ever win the MVP award, had his promising career derailed by injuries.
So, partake in whatever crazy superstitions you can think of. The Mavericks need all the luck they can get Tuesday.