Cohen 8-Ball: Truth About Lottery Odds
Slot 1 (team with best chance): Actual: 25% | Trend since 1990: 17% - Cohen’s Analysis: Only three times in NBA history has the team with the worst record won the draft lottery (NJ in 1990, CLE in 2003, ORL in 2004). However, in 1996, Vancouver, which owned the worst record, was not permitted to receive the No. 1 pick because of expansion rules. Therefore, the team with the second worst record, Philadelphia, which actually had a 33 percent chance of selecting No. 1, had the upper hand and indeed claimed the top pick.