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Knicks -- and 13 other teams -- hope for some lottery luck

The Timberwolves, Lakers, Sixers and Knicks have the highest percentage of securing the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft

POSTED: May 19, 2015 10:03 AM ET

By John Schuhmann

BY John Schuhmann

NBA.com

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— This is the day that fans of the New York Knicks have been waiting (and possibly dreading) for almost six months. The 2015 NBA Draft lottery takes place in Manhattan on Tuesday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Knicks fans endured a brutal 2014-15 season in which their team lost a franchise-record 65 games. Carmelo Anthony didn't play after the All-Star break, four rotation players were sent away for next to nothing in return, the Triangle offense looked bad, and the defense looked worse. Many layups were missed. Hook shots soared into the third row. Really, all you need to know is that an undersized point guard the Knicks signed to a 10-day contract in early January -- Langston Galloway -- started more games (41) than Anthony played (40).

2015 Draft Lottery odds
Team No. 1 Top 3 Low
Minnesota 25.0% 64.3% 4
New York 19.9% 55.8% 5
Philadelphia 15.6% 46.9% 6
L.A. Lakers* 11.9% 37.8% 7
Orlando 8.8% 29.1% 8
Sacramento 6.3% 21.5% 9
Denver 4.3% 15.0% 10
Detroit 2.8% 10.0% 11
Charlotte 1.7% 6.1% 12
Miami** 1.1% 4.0% 13
Indiana 0.8% 2.9% 14
Utah 0.7% 2.5% 14
Phoenix 0.6% 2.2% 14
Oklahoma City 0.5% 1.8% 14
* Goes to PHI if 6 or 7
** Goes to PHI if 11, 12 or 13

The order of the top 14 picks in the 2015 Draft will be determined on Tuesday, offering the Knicks a chance to make up for some of those 65 losses. Among the teams with the best odds to win Tuesday's Lottery, the Knicks need a young talent the most. They may have Anthony, but he'll be 31 and coming off knee surgery next season. And while the other five teams that finished with fewer than 30 wins all have former Lottery picks under the age of 25 on their roster, the Knicks have none. They won the first ever Lottery in 1985, but the following year was the last time they picked in the top 5.

New York has just a 19.9 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, but an 87.7 percent chance to land somewhere in the top four and will fall no lower than fifth. Any pick is a good pick, because they can use talent at every position.

Big at the top

The consensus top two picks in this year's Draft are freshman big men: Karl Anthony Towns from Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor from Duke. Behind them are a pair of point guards -- D'Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay -- and a wildcard from Latvia named Kristaps Porzingis.

Draft Combine: D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell talks about how hard it was to leave Ohio State and preparing for the Draft Combine in Chicago.

Who gets drafted when will depend on who gets the top few picks. Most teams will look to take the best player available, but star potential is in the eye of the beholder and there's almost always a surprise or two in the top 10.

Three No. 1s in Minnesota?

Having finished with the league's worst record (16-66), the Minnesota Timberwolves have the best odds (25.0 percent) at getting the No. 1 pick. But they have much a greater chance of not getting the No. 1 pick.

The team with the league's worst record hasn't received the No. 1 pick since 2004. But if the Wolves do get No. 1, they'll be able to team him with the No. 1 picks from the last two drafts, Anthony Bennett and Kia Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, whom they acquired from Cleveland in exchange for Kevin Love.

Lakers have much to gain -- or lose

The Los Angeles Lakers have a Lottery pick -- Julius Randle -- in hand. But he's recovering from ACL surgery, and there's a chance they won't have a 2015 Lottery pick to team him with in the post-Kobe-Bryant era.

NBA Rooks: Julius Randle's Road to Recovery

After breaking his leg on Opening Night, Lakers' Rook Julius Randle has been working hard to get back on his feet.

The Lakers had the fourth worst record last season and, therefore, the fourth highest odds to receive at top-three pick. But if the pick falls out of the top 5, it would go to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers sent a pick to Phoenix in the Steve Nash sign-and-trade deal, and the Suns sent it along to Philadelphia in the three-team trade that got them Brandon Knight.

So the Sixers could add two top-6 picks to a young core that already includes former Lottery picks Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric (who's expected to arrive in 2016). There's only a 17.3 percent chance that the Lakers' pick falls to No. 6 or 7 (it can't fall any lower), though. If it doesn't, they'll likely send the Sixers' next year's pick (which would be top-3 protected).

Perennial contenders with a (long) shot

We have four teams in the conference finals who haven't won a championship in at least 20 years. On the opposite end of the spectrum are three Lottery teams that were still playing at this time last year. The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are less than three years from meeting in the 2012 Finals, and the Indiana Pacers met the Heat in the conference finals each of the last two years.

The Starters: Our Draft Lottery

The Starters go bobbing for apples to predict the winner of Tuesday's 2015 NBA Draft Lottery.

But none of those three teams has more than a four percent chance of moving up into the top three. Since the Lottery expanded to 14 teams in 2005, no team has risen from the bottom five spots.

If any of the bottom four move up and bump the Heat down to the No. 11 pick, they have to send it to Philadelphia. So there's a chance, though minimal, that Sixers could end up with three Lottery picks.

The room with no view (or phones)

The Lottery results will be broadcast on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET. But they'll be known by 20-25 people about an hour before then.

Each team will have a representative in a separate room, joined by NBA officials and a few members of the media. The league will hold the drawing of the top three picks there (picks 4-14 go the other 11 teams in order from the lowest winning percentage to the highest), and the people in the room will have no means of communicating with the outside world until the results are revealed on TV. (We'll show the actual drawing here on NBA.com after the broadcast.)

Those 20-25 people will know the future of the NBA, but they'll have to keep it to themselves for a little while.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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