Before The Ping Pong Balls, There Is The NBA Draft Coin Flip

I'm starting to think the NBA is a house of cards and smoke and mirrors. It's all, "let's hold a lottery because we're degenerate gamblers" and then it's all, "ooh, let's flip a coin to see who gets an extra 1/1,001 chance to win our lottery! We're sick!" and eventually jumpballs will turn into midcourt dice rolls and intermission will feature not awkward head coach interviews but rounds of Keno. (Keno: casually impossible gambling at its finest.)

On Friday, the NBA will break a few ties to help suss out the draft order entering the May 30 lottery. This will help Golden State Warriors fans decide whether to pray hard during the lottery or pray hardest.

Note: the NBA actually conducts randon drawings to determine this stuff, not coin flips. So consider the references to coin flips to reference "figurative coin flips."

Here's the tentative draft order with the ties to be broken Friday denoted.

1. Charlotte Bobcats, The Absolute Worst Team Ever.

2. Washington Wizards, Or The Saddest Winning Streak Ever Seen By Man.

Tie alert!

3. Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Hornets! A coin flip or random drawing or spirited game of Rock, Paper, Scissors between Anderson Varejao and Gustavo Ayon will determine who goes into May 30 with the advantage. If neither team leaps into the Top 3, the winner of Friday's random game of chance will pick ahead of the loser.

Another tie alert!

5. Sacramento Kings and New Jersey Nets! The winner of this battle is in pole position for the No. 5 pick. New Jersey, remember, only keeps its pick if it moves up into the Top 3. The winner of the flip also gets one extra combination for the lottery, representing a boosted probability of 0.099 percent. Oh, boy!

Yet another tie alert! Maybe we should alert you when there is no tie?

7. Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors! The Warriors narrowly avoided two brushes with success this week (phew!) to finish with 23 wins, the same as T-Dot. Of course, as I've discussed ad nauseum, the Dubs lose their pick if it is not in the Top 7. So this coin flip is huge. If they win, they have a 72 percent chance of keeping their pick (12 percent chance of jumping into top 3, 60 percent chance of sticking at No. 7). If they lose, they have just a 12 percent chance of keeping their pick. The Utah Jazz, Golden State's debtors, are licking their chops.

There is no tie alert!

9. Detroit Pistons.

10. Minnesota Timberwolves, who owe their pick to the New Orleans Hornets, which means all of those Hornets losses led to two top-10 picks in a bumper draft.

11. Portland Trail Blazers.

12. Milwaukee Bucks.

13. Phoenix Suns.

14. Houston Rockets.

There will be also be coin flips to break ties outside of the lottery. New York, Dallas and Utah all ended the season tied for the No. 16 pick, so that tie will be broken with the order for the first round then sussed out. Atlanta and the Clippers have a similar tie for the No. 21 pick. And finally, the Bulls and Spurs are again tied for the No. 29 pick.

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