Hawks 2019 Draft Lottery Odds Explained

Jeff Haynes/NBAE/Getty Images
Story by KL Chouinard
Twitter: @KLChouinard
The Hawks could have as many as five picks in the 2019 NBA Draft. The verdict on whether or not that will happen comes Tuesday.
 
The NBA regular season ended Apr. 10 and the NBA broke its draft ties two days later. On those two dates, the order of the teams selecting in the 2019 NBA Draft cleared up some, but the third and most important step happens this week when the NBA holds its annual Draft Lottery to determine the order of the prized top picks.
 
The Draft Lottery sets in place the order of first 14 picks. The first four teams will be determined by random drawing; the remaining ten will be slotted in order from pick #5 to pick #14 based upon their regular-season winning
percentage from lowest to highest. 
 
The Hawks could potentially grab two of those 14 picks. With a 29-53 regular-season finish, the Hawks hold the fifth-best odds to jump into the top-four picks. By virtue of the trade with Dallas to acquire Trae Young, the Hawks also hold the rights to the Mavericks' top pick if it does not end up being one of the top-five picks. If the Hawks get that pick this year – there is a 73.7 percent chance of the pick conveying to the Hawks – they will have two lottery picks for 2019.
 
"We like the position we're in with the fifth odds and then, potentially, the ninth odds," Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said. "The best-case scenario for us, obviously, would be to have 1 and 9. That would be great for the franchise. We're looking forward to it. It's all in Jami's court."
 
Actress Jami Gertz will represent the Hawks on stage at the Draft Lottery for a second consecutive year. Gertz and husband Tony Ressler are the principal owners of the Hawks. Michelle Leftwich, the Vice President of Salary Cap Administration for the Hawks, will represent the team in the lottery room where the ping-pong balls are randomly chosen to the determine the outcome. 
 
Here is a breakdown of some of the possibilities. 
 
The Hawks' own first-round pick
 
The potential outcomes for the Hawks' own first-round pick range from the top overall pick to the ninth pick. The most likely outcome is the 7th overall pick. 
 
The NBA revised the lottery for 2019. In recent prior years, three teams were chosen by random drawing. In order to flatten the odds for a more random distribution, four teams will selected by drawing this year. The Hawks have equal 10.5 percent chances at getting each of the top four overall picks. 
 
Here are the likelihoods of the Hawks nabbing each of the first nine picks with their own draft rights:
 

1st: 10.5 percent

2nd: 10.5 percent
3rd: 10.5 percent
4th: 10.5 percent
5th: 2.2 percent 
6th: 19.6 percent 
7th: 26.7 percent
8th: 8.8 percent 
9th: 0.6 percent
The rights to Dallas' first-round pick (top-5 protected)
 
Dallas finished the regular season in a three-way tie with New Orleans and Memphis; all three teams had 33-49 records. New Orleans won a tiebreaker Apr. 12 with second and third place going to Memphis and Dallas, respectively. The tiebreaker did not impact lottery odds, though. All three teams will pool their collective lottery probabilities and split them evenly. The purpose of the tiebreaker was to determine the default order in the bottom half of the lottery in the case that two or more of the three teams remain out of the top four spots. 
 
As a result of the tiebreaker, the pick from Dallas, should it convey to the Hawks, has a possible range from pick 9 to pick 13. The most likely outcome is that the pick ends up in the 9th spot and goes to the Hawks. Conversely, Dallas has a 26.3 percent chance of jumping into one of the top four spots and keeping the pick. If that happens, it turns into a protected first-round pick in future drafts until it finally conveys: the pick is protected #1-5 in 2019 and 2020, #1-3 in 2021 and 2022, and unprotected in 2023.
 
Here are the likelihoods for the draft rights of the pick from Dallas:
 
9th: 46.4 percent
10th: 24.3 percent 
11th: 2.9 percent
12th: 0.1 percent 
13th: less than 0.1 percent
Dallas keeps it for 2019: 26.3 percent
 
 
Three second-round picks
  
The Hawks hold the rights to three picks in the second round – and as second-round picks go, these are all good ones in the first half of the second round. The picks are their own second-round pick (#35), the Los Angeles Lakers’ second-round pick (#41), and Charlotte's second-round pick (#44, #43 or #42).
 

Charlotte won a tiebreaker with Miami and Sacramento with regards to their first-round picks after all three teams finished the regular season with identical 39-43 records. However, the second-round picks originally held by those three teams will be slotted in reverse order of how those teams select in the first round. 

 
Miami and Sacramento each have a 4.8 percent chance of leapfrogging into the top four spots of the Draft. If one of Miami or Sacramento ends up in the top four and ahead of Charlotte, then the Hawks will pick at #43. In the very unlikely outcome that both Miami and Sacramento get into the top four (and ahead of Charlotte), then the Hawks will get pick #42. The most likely outcome is that the Hawks stay at #44.
 
The future pick from Cleveland will not change hands in 2019
 
From the 2017 trade that sent Kyle Korver to Cleveland, the Hawks received a top-10 protected first-round pick that could have potentially conveyed for the first time in 2019. However, the Cavaliers finished with league's second-worst record, and as such, are guaranteed a pick no worse than #6, which guarantees that it will not convey in 2019. 
 
Instead, the Hawks will receive Cleveland’s 2020 first-round pick if it is not among the first ten picks. If the Hawks don't receive it in 2020, the pick turns into the rights to Cleveland's 2021 and 2022 second-round picks. 

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