Top NBA Draft prospects like Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, and Michael Carter-Williams have already declared for the NBA Draft, and others like Trey Burke, Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel may be soon to follow, so it's time to look at which NBA teams are in the best position to land a premium draft pick in 2013. Two weeks ago we broke down the lottery standings and odds, and since that time the Phoenix Suns have lost five of six games to move ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 3 spot behind the Bobcats and Magic. The third, fourth and fifth spots are cluttered, however, as the Suns, Cavaliers and Pistons are separated by a total of just one game.
The Magic dispatched the Milwaukee Bucks in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night in an overtime win at home, so now the Bobcats have a one-and-a-half game lead for the best odds at the top pick in the lottery. With only three games left on the schedule for Orlando, it seems like Charlotte will finish the year with the most ping-pong balls.
Ben Swanson of Rufus on Fire is tracking the lottery standings very closely, and he provided some details on what would happen if two teams finish with the same record:
In the case of a tie between two teams, they average the ping pong balls between the two teams. Should the resulting division result in a remainder, a coin flip will determine who gets the extra ping pong ball. Series records don't matter. Last year the Cavaliers and the Hornets tied for the third-worst records at 21-45. Adding the normal 156 and 119 chances normally given to the third and fourth-worst teams and dividing it by two gave New Orleans and Cleveland 137 ping pong balls each and the resulting coin flip gave New Orleans the eventual rights to the top pick and Anthony Davis.
The Sacramento Kings have climbed from the No. 10 spot to the No. 7 spot over the past two weeks, which more than tripled their odds of landing a top-3 pick in the draft lottery.
If you need more information on which teams owe future draft picks with protections, be sure to check out the complete list of future pick obligations in this post at RealGM.
2013 NBA Lottery Standings and Odds Update
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