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Suns lose NBA Draft Lottery tiebreaker vs. Cavaliers, could fall to 7th

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, left, congratulates Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson after Tatum announced that the Suns had won the first pick for the NBA basketball draft, during the draft lottery Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Phoenix Suns lost their NBA Draft Lottery tiebreaker with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, giving them the third-best odds in the lottery.

The Suns can now drop to seventh in a worst-case scenario, but the tiebreaker did not change the teams’ already-equal odds to land the top pick or a top-four pick.

The tiebreaker determined which team would pick sixth versus seventh if four teams with worse odds than either team jump into the top-four; or which team would select fifth versus sixth if the league-worst Knicks, plus three teams with worse odds than either Phoenix or Cleveland, take the top four spots.

Each of the Cavs and Suns have a 47.9 percent chance of falling out of the top four.

The first four picks of the 2019 NBA Draft will be drawn based on lottery odds of 14 non-playoff teams, and the remaining 10 will fall into a default order based on worst-to-best record.

Phoenix and Cleveland each finished the season at 19-63, the second-worst record in the league behind the New York Knicks.

By the newly-reformed draft lottery odds, the Knicks, Suns and Cavaliers all have equal odds at the first overall pick (14 percent) and hold equal odds for every pick in the top four.

Those three teams each have 52.1 percent chances of landing a top-four pick. If the Suns or Cavaliers do so, it would avoid a tiebreaking situation.

Here is a look at final odds for the top of the draft lottery.

Lottery seed Team Record Odds
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1 17-65 .140 .134 .127 .120 .479
2 19-63 .140 .134 .127 .120 .278 .200
3 19-63 .140 .134 .127 .120 .148 .260 .070


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