The NBA is expected to finalize a proposal on Thursday that will send 22 teams to Orlando in order to finish out the season. It will be a unique experience for a number of reasons — one interesting wrinkle will be how the league determines the lottery odds for 2020 without all of the clubs playing the same number of games.
The Warriors, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets will likely be locked into the top eight lottery slots, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The order within the top eight has yet to be determined, but the structure means the Wizards couldn’t go 0-8 this summer when the season resumes and land a better position in the lottery than those teams that won’t be playing.
It’s “part of the tradeoff” for the franchises that won’t be given a chance to resume their campaigns, per the source. Another scenario discussed was freezing the lottery as it stands, allowing no movement up or down by any team, even those in the 9-14 positions. Either way, the top eight are expected to be assured of their standing.
Here’s a look at the odds of each lottery position as well as the order of teams, should the league go with the current standings:
*Will play eight more regular season games
** The Kings and Pelicans have matching 28-36 records and would be subject to a random tiebreaker to determine which team gets the No. 12 slot and which gets No. 13. Their spots in this list (and their odds) could be flipped if the NBA ends up freezing the standings to determine the lottery’s order.