OKC Thunder win coin flip vs. Cleveland, will have improved lottery odds

OKC Thunder win coin flip vs. Cleveland, will have improved lottery odds

Oklahoma City prevailed in its coin flip battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday afternoon.

That means the Thunder will be slotted with the fourth-best odds and, therefore, can not fall below the No. 8 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. OKC also now has a 97.6 percent chance of being in the top-seven and an 79.6 percent chance of being in the top-six.

Here’s full pick odds for OKC:

No. 1 pick: 11.5 percent

No. 2 pick: 11.4 percent

No. 3 pick: 11.2 percent

No. 4 pick: 11.0 percent

No. 5 pick: 7.4 percent

No. 6 pick: 27.1 percent

No. 7 pick: 18.0 percent

No. 8 pick: 2.4 percent

Oklahoma City and Cleveland are still tied in odds for the top four picks. The Thunder and Cavs’ odds will be split evenly for those selections, and they were not impacted by the result of the coin flip.

On lottery night, the 14 NBA teams who didn’t make the playoffs are entered into the lottery. Ping pong balls for four teams are then chosen, and those four teams make up the top four picks in the NBA Draft. 

The remaining nine teams are then seeded in reverse order based on regular season standings. 

Here’s a deeper explanation of how this works, via the NBA’s website:

“Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.

The lottery machine is manufactured by the Smart Play Company, a leading manufacturer of state lottery machines throughout the United States. Smart Play also weighs, measures and certifies the ping-pong balls before the drawing.

The drawing process occurs in the following manner: All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for 20 seconds, and then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds, and then the second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the No. 1 pick. The same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second through fourth picks.

If the same team comes up more than once, the result is discarded and another four-ball combination is selected. Also, if the one unassigned combination is drawn, the result is discarded and the balls are drawn again. The length of time the balls are mixed is monitored by a timekeeper who faces away from the machine and signals the machine operator after the appropriate amount of time has elapsed.”

The 2021 NBA Draft lottery is on June 22.

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