In just a few hours all the teams who didn't qualify for the NBA playoffs this season will go head to head in the annual NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 spot in the draft. The room will be full of many of the usual suspect such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, and Charlotte Bobcats.
After Lebron James' decision to take his talents to South Beach, the Cleveland Cavaliers will once again be making an appearance as will teams that just missed the playoffs such as the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.
The NBA Draft this year doesn't appear to be as star studded as in previous seasons, but Duke's Kyrie Irving and Arizona's Derrick Williams figure to be the top two players on the board. Minnesota, by virtue of their 17-65 record, at 25% has the best odds at obtaining the first overall selection, while Cleveland sits at 19.9%, and the Toronto Raptors with the third highest chance at 15.6%. The Houston Rockets are least likely to select first, with just a 0.5% chance going into tonight.
The Jazz have two chances in the lottery as do the Cleveland Cavaliers. Utah owns the selection from the New Jersey Nets as part of the Deron Williams trade, while Cleveland picked up the Los Angeles Clippers selection because of the Baron Davis trade that sent the guard to Cleveland.
In last year's NBA Draft Lottery, the Wizards won the lottery with just a 10.3% chance, beginning the evening with the fifth best odds of winning. They eventually selected Kentucky's John Wall who went on to average 16.4 points per game and 8.3 assists this season for Washington.
The first NBA Draft Lottery took place in 1985, with the New York Knicks winning the opportunity to select Patrick Ewing from Georgetown. Historically the worst team has only won the first pick twice, in 2003 and 2004. In 2003 the Cavaliers selected James, while the following year the Orlando Magic made high schooler Dwight Howard the first overall choice. The best team to ever win the lottery was as Orlando, who finished the 1993 season with a 41-41 record and had just a 1.52% chance of winning. That year they selected Michigan's Chris Webber who they eventually traded for the third pick, Memphis State's Anfernee Hardaway.
Things get underway from the Prudential Center in New Jersey at 7:30 CST.