2020 NBA Draft Lottery Preview

The Dubs may not be in the league’s restart or the upcoming NBA Playoffs in Orlando, but Dub Nation’s eyes will be on the action come Thursday, Aug. 20 when the Warriors and 13 other teams enter the NBA Draft Lottery. The last time the team was in the lottery was back in 2012, so if you have forgotten what that means and want to know how it all works, we have a refresher for you.

2020 NBA Draft LotteryThursday, August 205:30 p.m.


What is the Draft Lottery?
The NBA Draft Lottery is when the fate of basketball franchises no longer are determined by basketballs, but rather pingpong balls.

The 14 teams that do not make the playoffs are entered into this summer’s lottery where they will be in contention for the top four picks of the 2020 NBA Draft. The draft order of the top four will be determined by the drawing of 14 numbered pingpong balls. After a thorough mixing, four balls will be pulled and whichever team holds that combination of numbers is given the first overall pick. The process is then repeated for the second, third and fourth picks.

There are 1,001 combinations in this drawing process! How this plays out it completely up to chance.

After the top four picks of the NBA Draft are chosen, the remaining 10 teams will be seeded five through 14 in the inverse order of their season records based on when the NBA paused it’s season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, or in other words the teams with the worst records as of Mar. 11 will be given the most favorable picks.

What does that mean for the Warriors?
The Warriors went a league-worst 15-50 during the 2019-20 campaign, which gives them, along with the teams with the second and third worst records this season, the best odds in the Draft Lottery.

Warriors’ 2020 NBA Lottery Odds
14% chance at first overall pick
40.1% chance at a top-three pick
47.9% chance at falling to fifth overall pick
100% chance at a top-five pick

However, distribution of the 2020 NBA Draft picks are subject to luck just like any game of chance. Even the fourteenth team in Thursday’s lottery has a 0.5 percent chance at grabbing the first overall pick. Last summer, the New Orleans Pelicans claimed the first draft choice with just a six percent chance at the coveted top pick, which they later used to select forward Zion Williamson.

As much focus as there may be on capturing the coveted first overall pick, the Warriors’ position comes with the perk of at least being guaranteed a selection within the first five of the draft. If their assigned lottery combinations are not drawn for the first four selections, the Dubs will automatically be slotted into the fifth overall pick.

Fetch your lucky charms
If you’ve got any game day rituals or lucky charms that might boost the team’s chances of getting a higher pick, bring them out Dub Nation!

In the Dubs’ last lottery appearance in 2012, Co-Executive Chairman Peter Guber and General Manager Bob Myers traveled to New York as representatives of the team and were prepared to bolster the team’s odds. Guber had with him an abnormally large great white shark’s tooth which he believes provided some luck in he and business partner Joe Lacob gaining ownership rights to the Warriors franchise, while Myers chose an American Indian coin gifted to the team from someone in the Yocha Dehe tribal community.

There’s no bones about it: the team’s representatives, which will be held virtually, will try to shed the negativity away and bring some extra luck at the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery. Meet the representatives for this year's event: Stephen Curry and Larry O'Brien Lacob, Co-Executive Chairman Joe Lacob's faithful dog.

What happens after the NBA Draft Lottery?
When the Warriors know what pick they have, a number of things can happen. Myers and the Basketball Operations team may stand pat and use their assigned pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. But there is always the possibility to “move up” or “move down” too, meaning swap picks with another team earlier or later in the draft. The Dubs’ pick could even be outright traded for another player.

There will be decisions abound for Myers and his team at the conclusion of Thursday’s lottery as they prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft, which will be held on Oct. 16.

What we know for sure headed into the draft is this: the team will have a pick within the top five, as well as two second round selections.

The Warriors no longer own their 2020 second round pick as it was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in July 2016 with Andrew Bogut to create cap space for the arrival of Kevin Durant. However, the Warriors acquired Dallas’ second round selection. The Mavericks originally traded it to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017, and that pick was then given to the Dubs as part of the deal that sent Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to the East Coast on Feb. 6 on this year.

If that isn’t confusing enough, the other pick which originally belonged to the Utah Jazz has gone through even more hands. It went from the Jazz to Cleveland Cavaliers (traded Nov. 2018), to the Detroit Pistons (Jun. 2019), Dallas Mavericks (Jun. 2019), and finally ended up with the Warriors in the trade that saw the departure of Willie Cauley-Stein.

What number picks those second rounders become are dependent on where Dallas and Utah finish at the end of the NBA’s Restart.

Be ready to bust out the lucky charms on Thursday, and stay tuned to warriors.com and @warriors on social media for updates on the NBA Lottery results.