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Tiebreaker to determine if Suns have three first-round picks in 2018 draft

Names of all the first-round picks fill the draft board at the end of the first round of the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Phoenix Suns fans took a larger than normal interest in the play of the Miami Heat and the Washington Wizards the past few weeks.

That was due to the fact that the Suns own a protected first-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks, who have been fighting with the Heat and Wizards for playoff positioning at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Or, in draft standings language, picks Nos. 15-17.

The pick acquired from the Bucks in the Eric Bledsoe trade was protected in spots 1-10 and 17-30 this year.

Prior to Wednesday’s action, the Suns would need a Bucks loss and at least one win from either the Heat or Wizards to have a chance at owning the pick this year.

The Bucks did their job, losing to the Philadelphia 76ers by 35. Both the Heat and Wizards would trail for most of the night, however, and it would take overtime for the Heat to get a win over the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards, meanwhile, lost to the 25-57 Orlando Magic.

That meant the Bucks and Heat both finished 44-38, and now per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, a tiebreaker will take place on Friday to determine which team picks No. 16 and which team picks No. 17.

If the Bucks pick at No. 16, the Suns receive the pick. If the Bucks pick at No. 17, the pick stays in Milwaukee and 2019’s protections kick in.

The protections on the pick for 2019 are 1-3 and 17-30, jump down to 1-7 in 2020 and the pick is unprotected in 2021.

The tiebreaker will also determine where the Suns will pick with the Heat selection they are owed from the Goran Dragic deal. The pick was top-7 protected and will now either land at Nos. 16 or 17.

That leaves the Suns’ current 2018 draft pick status prior to Friday as this:

1. Phoenix Suns – Odds of No. 1: 25 percent. Odds of No. 2: 21.5 percent. Odds of No. 3: 17.7 percent. Odds of No. 4: 35.8 percent.

T-16. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat)

T-16. Phoenix Suns (via Milwaukee Bucks)

31. Phoenix Suns

59. Phoenix Suns (via Toronto Raptors)

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