Worst record offers no lottery guarantees

May, 20, 2013
5/20/13
9:23
PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Information
ESPN.com
Archive
Here's a snapshot look at three statistical storylines for Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery, the results of which will be shown on ESPN beginning at 7:30 pm ET.

No. 1 usually doesn't go to worst record
The Orlando Magic have a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery, the best chance among the 14 teams.

Since the Draft Lottery began in 1985, the Magic have held the No. 1 overall pick three times (Shaquille O’Neal in 1992; Chris Webber in 1993; Dwight Howard in 2004).

Since the lottery moved to its present format in 1994, the team with (or tied for) the best odds has won three of the 19 lotteries.

Those were the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 (selected Allen Iverson); the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 (selected LeBron James); and the Magic in 2004 (picked Dwight Howard).

The teams with the third and fifth-best odds have won four times.

Cavaliers, Trail Blazers could tie a record with a lottery win
Since the lottery began in 1985, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic have made the first overall pick three times, most among all teams.

Of the 14 teams in the lottery, the Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers have made the most No. 1 overall picks during the Common Draft Era (since 1966), with four each. On the other end, the Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz have never held the top pick.

If the Cavaliers or Trail Blazers end up with the top pick, they will tie the Houston Rockets for the most No. 1 overall picks in the Common Draft Era (since 1966).

One other item of note involving a team playing after the lottery concludes:

The draft lottery began in 1985. Since that time, every team in the NBA has had at least one lottery pick. The San Antonio Spurs have had the longest drought among all teams, having not selected in the lottery since taking Tim Duncan No. 1 overall in 1997.

No. 1 team may celebrate, but many No. 1 picks haven't recently won titles
Since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, five No. 1 overall draft selections have gone on to win the NBA Championship with the team that drafted them. Those who have won have won big: Magic Johnson (Lakers, 1979), James Worthy (Lakers, 1982), Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets, 1984), David Robinson (Spurs, 1987), and Tim Duncan (1997).

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