Tonight the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery will determine the position of the Portland Trail Blazers in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Blazers owned the sixth-worst record in the league this year, placing them almost in the middle of the 14 teams vying for the top draft spots. The fortunes of any of them, including Portland, could rise dramatically following the event.
Here’s all the basic info you need in order to follow along with the proceedings.
How to Watch
The lottery will be broadcast on ESPN. Coverage will start at 4:00 Pacific/7:00 Eastern with the actual reveal of the lottery order starting at 5:00 Pacific/8:00 Eastern.
Blazer’s Edge will also have a discussion thread open an hour before the event. You can gather with fellow readers and fans here. If you don’t have access to ESPN, our comment section will be alive with commentary milliseconds after results for each position are revealed.
The NBA draws combinations for the first four picks. Four lucky teams will inhabit slots 1-4 in the order. After that, the remaining ten teams will be seeded in reverse order of their regular-season records.
The Blazers have a 9.0% chance of being selected for the first overall pick. Here are Portland’s exact odds to receive each pick:
The Blazers cannot finish in the 5th position because the drawing only promotes teams to the first four. If Portland moves up, it has to be one of the four positions drawn for. If they don’t move up, there will be at least one team remaining with a worse record in front of them for the “rest of” seeding process. Therefore they cannot get the 5th spot.
The odds of Portland getting the 7th or 8th spots are the same as the odds for one or two teams behind Portland in the order moving ahead of them, thus bumping them down a slot or two. The Blazers would only remain in 6th if they did not move up themselves and if no team behind them (from 7-14) moved up either. The odds of someone behind Portland moving up are greater than the odds of nobody doing so. That’s why the Blazers are statistically more likely to end up in the 7th or 8th spots than to remain in 6th.
Teams with a worse record than Portland have better odds of moving up. Teams with a better record have lesser odds. Complete odds can be found at Tankathon.
The Reveal/What to Watch For
The actual drawing will take place in a closed, sealed room prior to the reveal on ESPN. Participants are sworn to secrecy. This is one of the closer security matters the league deals with. We’ll all find out the order together.
The league reveals the teams in reverse draft order, starting from 14th and continuing to 1st.
As you watch the reveal, keep in mind that each team rising into the Top 4 from a position behind Portland lessens the chance that the Blazers will make the Top 4 themselves. Teams rising from below also guarantee that, if the Blazers don’t get promoted, they’ll be bumped down another spot in the order. If the Charlotte Hornets move up from 13th, for example, Portland can no longer finish in 6th. They’ll either have to get promoted to the Top 4 themselves or get the 7th pick. Repeat that story for every team between 7-14 that leapfrogs the Blazers.
As the picks are revealed, Blazers fans want to see no changes in the order until Portland’s spot comes. The Blazers will be in the best position if each team’s logo appears exactly where it should be until the reveal reaches Portland’s own spot.
For reference, here is the reverse order of the teams below Portland:
11. New York Knicks
If any of these teams is skipped during the reveal, it means they got promoted to the Top 4.
Nervous time comes as Portland’s own spot approaches. At the start, that’ll be the 6th position. For every team that doesn’t appear in order below the Blazers, shift Portland’s designated spot down one. Wherever the Blazers would appear—most likely 6th, 7th, 8th, depending on the number of teams skipped before them—root for their logo to NOT be revealed. If Portland’s slot goes by and you don’t see the pinwheel, that means that they got promoted to the Top 4.
At that point, all you have to do is hold your breath as the first four picks are revealed.
Summarizing: you’re likely to see Portland revealed in the 6th-8th positions, depending on how many of the 7-14 teams leap to the Top 4. If we get past the 6th position and don’t see Portland’s logo, the Blazers have a Top 4 selection.
Damian Lillard will be in attendance as the public representative for the franchise, a “good luck” charm. He will not see the drawing itself, but will be on the studio set for the revealing process.
Good luck, have fun, and join us for our 2022 Lottery Drawing open thread tonight!
P.S. For reference, here’s the rest of the reverse draft order:
6. Portland Trail Blazers