UPDATED: New Jersey Nets Finish in 6th Position in Lottery Standings: Portland Trail Blazers Odds Now Set

UPDATE: The NBA lottery drawing tiebreaker process is now complete. Sacramento won the coin toss with New Jersey. Therefore New Jersey has 75 combinations out of 1000 in the upcoming lottery drawing and the Nets will start in the 6th position in the draft. If the Nets are not promoted to the Top 3 in the lottery the Blazers will get the 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th pick depending on how many teams leapfrog them in the order once the ping pong balls have dropped.

Updated Lottery Order:

TEAM RECORD LOTTERY CHANCES (out of 1,000)
Charlotte 7-59 250
Washington 20-46 199
Cleveland 21-45 138
New Orleans 21-45 137
Sacramento 22-44 76
New Jersey 22-44 75
Golden State 23-43 36
Toronto 23-43 35
Detroit 25-41 17
Minnesota 26-40 11
Portland 28-38 8
Milwaukee 31-35 7
Phoenix 33-33 6
Houston 34-32 5

Thanks to tripdoubsalldetime for getting this in the FanShots early. We have the best readership around!

ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS

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Portland Trail Blazers fans will be interested to know that the New Jersey Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors tonight 98-67. Those two teams were in a virtual tie to start the night, deciding the 7th position in the lottery drawings with this game. Perhaps the Nets were giving themselves the best chance possible to keep the conditional pick they traded to Portland in the Gerald Wallace deal. Perhaps they're just that bad. You make the call. Either way, the Raptors now sit in 7th.

The Sacramento Kings also defeated the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, leaving the Kings and Nets with identical 22-44 records, deadlocked for the 5th and 6th spots. Here's how this will work:

  • The team in the 5th position gets 88 out of the possible 1000 combinations which will determine the lottery winners.
  • The team in the 6th position gets 63 out of those possible 1000 combinations.
  • Since Sacramento and New Jersey are tied their combinations will be added and split evenly. Each will have a near-equal chance at winning.
  • We say "near equal" because 88+63=151 combinations and 151 does not split exactly evenly. Therefore the league will have a coin flip to determine who gets the extra combination. One team will have 76 combinations, one 75.
  • The winner of that coin flip will also receive the higher selection in the event that neither team moves into the Top 3, in essence breaking the tie between 5th and 6th.
  • 75 or 76 combinations yields an approximate 7.6% chance of gaining the first overall pick, an 8.4% chance of gaining the second, and a 9.4% chance of obtaining the third.

What does this mean for the Blazers?

Step 1: Wait for the coin flip. That will determine whether New Jersey's pick starts in the 5th or 6th position.

Step 2: Wait for the actual lottery drawing. If New Jersey's combination comes up for picks 1, 2, or 3 then Portland will have to wait another year at least before receiving their pick.

Step 3: Assuming New Jersey doesn't get promoted the Blazers will receive a pick somewhere between 5th and 9th. The coin flip will tell whether Portland starts with the 5th or 6th selection and the lottery drawing will show whether 0, 1, 2, or 3 teams leapfrog that position into the Top 3. Each team that rises from below the New Jersey spot to the Top 3 will push the New Jersey pick down one spot.

Long story short: We now know that the Blazers will draft no better than 5th with New Jersey's pick and could still draft as low as 9th. They could also get no pick at all if the Nets rise in the lottery. We'll have to see how the probabilities shake out.

Portland retains its own pick, of course, which will start as the 11th selection. They could move up to the Top 3 with great luck, or down 1-3 spaces if their luck is rotten and other teams leapfrog them. The 11th team gets 8 possible combinations out of 1000. The odds of Portland getting the first overall selection with their own pick are 0.8%, the second 0.9%, and the third 1.2%.

The best possible scenario for the Blazers is that they get super-lucky with their own pick and get selected first while New Jersey wins the coin flip but doesn't get promoted or pushed down by anyone else but the Blazers, thus giving Portland the 1st and 6th selections.

The worst (realistic) possible scenario for the Blazers that New Jersey gets promoted while Portland doesn't, leaving Portland stuck with the 11th selection at best and no other pick. Alternately the worst situation might be New Jersey drawing 6th and then other teams leapfrogging them anyway, putting Portland with a couple of lower-level lottery picks like 8th and 12th. Technically there's a minuscule chance that the Blazers could end up with the 9th and 14th picks...the absolute worst case if they retain both picks. At that point you figure the franchise really is cursed.

--Dave (blazersub@gmail.com)

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