On Tuesday, the 2021 NBA Draft order was nearly finalized after winners of the various tiebreakers were determined. The league conducted a series of behind the scenes coin flips to separate teams with equal regular season records.
The draft lottery, set to take place on June 22, will determine the order for the top four picks in the draft. The worst three teams in the league — the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons — each have a 14 percent chance of landing the top pick.
Former Oklahoma State lead guard Cade Cunningham is widely expected to be the no. 1 overall selection on July 29.
From the NBA – here is the official odds distribution for the top pick. pic.twitter.com/buiRYTtuDe
— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) May 25, 2021
Outside of the top four and other pick-swap ramifications based on the lottery results, the rest of the 2021 NBA Draft order is now set, with the New York Knicks coming out as a beneficiary in two ways.
The Knicks — who are amidst a battle with the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs after losing Game 1 in the final seconds — can take some minor solace in at least beating Atlanta in the tiebreaker, thereby earning the no. 19 pick in the upcoming draft (Atlanta will pick at no. 20).
New York also owns the Dallas Mavericks' first-rounder thanks to the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Dallas won its three-team tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, ensuring that the Knicks will select at no. 21.
The Lakers' pick will fall at no. 22, while Portland ended up at no. 23 — a pick that will be sent to the Houston Rockets as part of the Robert Covington deal.
Here were the rest of the results, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder won the tiebreaker for the no. 4 pick over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- The Chicago Bulls won a three-team tiebreaker for the no. 8 pick over the Sacramento Kings (no. 9) and the New Orleans Pelicans (no. 10). The Bulls' pick will go to the Orlando Magic as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade.
- The Charlotte Hornets won a tiebreaker for the no. 11 pick over the San Antonio Spurs.
- The Los Angeles Clippers won a tiebreaker for the no. 25 pick over the Denver Nuggets
Here's the full pre-lottery draft order.