Tanking rankings: Suns clinch 14 percent chance at No. 1 pick

Apr 3, 2019, 9:20 PM | Updated: 9:22 pm
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)...
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

It’s a new era for the NBA Draft lottery, which in 2019 enters the first year after reformed odds aim to limit the returns on tanking.

For the Phoenix Suns, that’s good news amid franchise turmoil, more losing and a hope for baby steps heading into next season.

Phoenix is in competition to earn the first overall pick, which used to carry 25-percent lottery odds for the worst team record-wise at the end of the season.

Now, the three worst teams all have the same odds to earn the first pick (14 percent), second pick (13.4), third pick (12.7) and fourth pick (12).

From there, the odds of picking first fall to 12.5 percent for the fourth team in the reverse standings, 10.5 percent for the fifth team and so on through the 14th team in the lottery.

The incentive to finish high, however, comes in how far a team can be lept in the lottery. The team that finishes with the worst record can only fall as far as drafting fifth. The second-worst team can fall to sixth, and so on.

With the Chicago Bulls’ win and Phoenix Suns’ loss on Wednesday, the Suns clinched a top-3 spot in the reverse standings, meaning a 14 percent chance at the No. 1 pick.

Below is a running tracker of the reverse NBA standings, their records and their draft lottery odds based off their records.

Lottery seed Team Record Games back Odds
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
1 15-63 .140 .134 .127 .120 .479
2 18-61 2.5 .140 .134 .127 .120 .278 .200
3 19-59 4.0 .140 .134 .127 .120 .148 .260 .070

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