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Phoenix Suns wish for luck on NBA Draft Lottery night again; all the odds here

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Check here for the date, time, TV info, lottery odds and Suns lottery history.

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The annual losers party takes place tonight in New Jersey, where the NBA's worst teams get together and try their luck at drafting high enough not be to back there again next year.

This will be the Suns' sixth straight appearance at the NBA Draft Lottery, one of the longest active no-playoff streaks in the league.

What: NBA Draft Lottery

When: 5pm AZ Time

TV: ESPN

What to watch for

For Suns fans, you need to watch the whole thing. First off, make sure you see the Wizards logo among the first two cards revealed in the draft order. If you don't see that logo at pick 13 or 14, it's time to start wringing your hands. Not only would the Suns be out their second lotto pick, the Wizards would have bumped the Suns top pick down a notch in the process.

Then, watch for when the Suns logo appears. You are guaranteed to see the Suns logo somewhere between picks 1-7.

But if you see the Suns logo at 7, especially after not seeing the Wizards logo before that, you might as well just drink a whole bottle of whiskey right then and there.

Past lotto luck

The Phoenix Suns have not had good ping pong ball luck. They haven't moved up in the lottery in their last 10 tries over nearly 30 seasons.

Realgm.com has a great pictorial of the Suns lottery history.

suns-lotto-history

The Suns lucked into three straight high draft picks in the mid-to-late 80s but never came away with a difference-maker.

William Bedford came to the Suns in a bad, bad draft that produced only one All-Star (Brad Daughtery) among the top 24 picks.

Armen Gilliam came to the Suns in a very good draft, taken behind David Robinson, and ahead of the likes of Scottie Pippen, Kevin Johnson, Horace Grant and Reggie Miller. All of them All-Stars. Armen Gilliam, #2 overall pick, had a solid career but never came close to sniffing an All-Star game.

Tim Perry was the consolation in 1988 after the Suns dropped a couple slots to 7th. Among the first six picks that year: 4 All-Stars. Those picked after #6 overall? One All-Star (Dan Majerle). Sometimes it really sucks to drop in the draft. Perry's claim to fame was being one of the pieces that brought back the Chuckster to spur the Suns to the Finals.

But in 2013, it didn't matter where the Suns drafted. Alex Len was the 5th overall pick in 2013 after the Suns dropped a spot, but not one player from the 2013 Draft has become an All-Star yet. And three years in, it appears no one in the Top 9 will ever reach that lofty status. You have to get down to C.J. McCollum (10th), Giannis (15th) and Rudy Gobert (27th) to find players who might someday get that lucky ticket, but even that's iffy.

If it seems like the Suns have made it a habit to suck in really bad drafting years, you might be on to something.

This year's odds

The Lotterybucket.com has an excellent interactive graphic on odds.

Suns-lotto-chances

Bad at translations of decimals to percents? Or, bad at adding things up on the fly?

Here's some hard-hitting analysis you can use to impress your friends:

Glass half empty

Of all the chances on the board, the Suns most likely draft slot (35.5%) is 5th, despite having the 4th worst record in the 2015-16 season.

Glass half full

The Suns have a stronger aggregate chance stay where they are or rise up (47.64%) than they do to drop to the 5th pick.

Hold up... yep... the glass is more than half empty after all

But then again, the Suns have a better aggregate chance (52.36%) to drop to 5th, 6th or 7th than they do of moving up or staying at 4th.

Thanks, lotto.

Coin toss for high pick

So basically, with roughly a 50/50 chance to draft at or higher than 4th, tonight's lottery is like a coin toss. Heads you win a better prospect, tails you lose.

Let's hope Devin Booker (13th overall last year) can bring some good luck. Booker, who finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting and is the Suns best draft pick since Amare Stoudemire (9th overall) in 2003, will represent the Suns at the Draft Lottery when the ping pong balls are pulled from the machine.

Everything he's touched since joining the league has turned to gold, so now he's got to bring his voodoo to the ping pong ball process.

Booker is also bringing a super-fan along with him, at his request. Jenna Warren, a teen with Down Syndrome who interacted with Booker all season before Suns games, was personally invited by Booker to join him at the lottery.

Let's hope that combination brings the Suns some good luck!

The 13th pick

At least the Suns aren't done after their top pick. Bad drafts always have good players taken later on, and the Suns are armed with the 13th, 28th and 34th overall picks as well.

Well, we think they have the 13th pick. There's no way the Suns could lose their Washington pick as payment for taking Markieff Morris of their hands in February, right?

The Washington pick is protected Top-9, which would only come into play if the Wizards win the lottery and jump all the way up into the top three picks. They have a 1.82% chance to do so, otherwise the Suns get their pick.

So there's a 97.8% chance the Suns will be calling out a name at the 13th or 14th pick in June, marking their SIXTH time in only seven years that they've picked 13th or 14th. Good thing that's the second pick in their arsenal this time.

Other considerations

While the Suns learn their fate tonight, other teams are biting their nails too. Just consider the devastation these franchises' fan bases would feel if things go really bad tonight.

The Los Angeles Lakers (2nd at the moment) have a 44% chance of losing their top pick altogether. Their pick, as you might know, is Top-3 protected this year. Otherwise it goes to the Sixers, via the Suns, thanks to the 2015 Trade Deadline brain fart. That would give the Sixers two of the draft's top 5 picks.

The Brooklyn Nets (3rd) has already handed over their top pick to Boston as a result of that disastrous trade three years ago. So the Nets have no consolation prize from a disastrous year, while the Celtics are ready to reel in a big fish. Imagine if the Celtics (3rd best odds at the top pick) end up with Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram?

The New York Knicks (7th) are just as frustrated. They have already promised away their top pick (7th) to either Denver or Toronto, even if it ends up winning the lottery.  Denver can swap with the Knicks if it ends up higher than theirs, but then the Knicks have to just send that along to Toronto. So while the Raptors are in the Conference Finals, they almost certainly also have a Top-10 pick coming in June.