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2014 NBA Draft could carry intrigue for Denver Nuggets

A quick primer explaining how team's pick will be determined

The Nuggets selected Dikembe Mutombo with the fourth pick of the 1991 NBA Draft.
NBAE/Getty Images

With the 2014 NBA Draft class shaping up to be one of the deepest in more than a decade, the Denver Nuggets are in position to benefit when the selections begin on June 26.

As part of their historic trade with the New York Knicks three years ago, the Nuggets acquired New York’s first-round pick in 2014. Denver also has its own pick but must send one of the two to the Orlando Magic as part of the trade involving Arron Afflalo, Dwight Howard and Andre Iguodala.

So how will Denver’s fortune be determined? Here is a quick primer to clear up any confusion:

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the Nuggets will keep the best pick possible.

If both Denver and New York make the playoffs but the Nuggets finish with a better record, they will get the Knicks’ pick and send their own to Orlando. If New York reaches the postseason with a better record, Denver will keep its own pick.

If Denver makes the playoffs and New York misses the playoffs, the Nuggets will get the Knicks’ lottery pick and send their to the Magic.

If New York makes the playoffs and Denver misses the postseason, the Nuggets keep their own lottery pick, while the Magic inherit the Knicks' pick.

If the Nuggets and Knicks both miss the playoffs, the May 20 draft lottery will determine which pick Denver keeps.

Under the lottery system, a combination of ping-pong balls determines the first three picks of the draft. Teams with the poorest records have increased odds at the top selection, while those with better records have longer odds.

Should Denver and New York both land in the lottery, the Nuggets would have two opportunities to jump into the top-three, regardless of record.

Once the top three picks are determined, the remaining 11 lottery teams draft in order of their finish in 2013-14.