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The Suns' (slim) draft lottery odds

The last time the Suns had anything to do with the draft lottery was in 2007, when we had Atlanta's top-3 protected first round pick. Being a math geek myself, I needed to know the exact chance of us keeping their pick. Then I realized that to do that one actually has to calculate ALL chances of which team is picking at which positions, since these odds are all interconnected with each other. Then after some crunching, I came up with a table of all the odds and sent it to Henry Abbott at Truehoop (I wasn't aware of the existence of BSotS back then), who encouraged me to publish it on the web myself. So I started a little blog, and Truehoop ended up linking to it a few times.

Long story short (I can say that even if I've told you the long story already), I now have a program that, given the teams' records and tiebreakers, can figure out the chances of which team is picking where in no time.

Anyways, here are the numbers for 2009. They are all percentages. For example, The Clippers (LAC) have a 19.53% chance of picking 4th.

 

Pick#

Teams

SAC WAS LAC OKC MIN MEM GST NYK TOR MIL NJ CHA IND PHO
1 25.0 17.8 17.7 11.9 7.6 7.5 4.3 2.8 1.7 1.0 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.5
2 21.46 17.36 17.29 12.57 8.43 8.33 4.93 3.26 2.0 1.18 1.06 0.83 0.71 0.59
3 17.72 16.45 16.41 13.24 9.46 9.36 5.76 3.87 2.4 1.43 1.29 1.01 0.87 0.72
4 35.82 34.67 19.53 9.98 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
5 -- 13.73 25.02 34.99 26.27 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
6 -- -- 4.05 16.05 38.5 41.4 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
7 -- -- -- 1.26 9.32 29.4 60.01 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
8 -- -- -- -- 0.42 3.9 23.17 72.5 -- -- -- -- -- --
9 -- -- -- -- -- 0.1 1.79 16.76 81.35 -- -- -- -- --
10 -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.03 0.8 12.17 86.99 -- -- -- --
11 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.01 0.38 9.2 90.41 -- -- --
12 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.19 6.26 93.55 -- --
13 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.08 3.89 96.03 --
14 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.02 1.79 98.18

 

So as everyone around here probably knows already, we have a 0.5% chance of hitting the jackpot and picking 1st. What you may not have known is that we also have a 0.59% chance of getting the 2nd pick, and a 0.72% chance of getting the 3rd pick. That's about a 1-in-55 chance of lucking out (and 54-in-55 chance of picking 14th).

The last time we had ATL's pick, we had a 62.22% chance of keeping it, and we all know how that went down. The Hawks drafted Al Horford and we instead got their pick the following year, which turned out to be Fropez.

The odds for us are much longer this time, and we really shouldn't be getting our hopes up. But hey, anything's possible!

The lottery is taking place next Tuesday (May 19th).

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