The 2011 NBA season has officially come and gone for 14 teams in the league, who now will focus their energies towards the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery, held on May 17 in Newark, NJ. The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings will be apart of the festivities once again, looking to win the elusive lotto system that can lead you to the promise land by landing the right player. Here's a little breakdown of how this thing works:
To determine the winner, fourteen ping pong balls numbered 1-14 are placed in a standard lottery machine and four balls are randomly selected from the lot. Just as in most traditional lotteries, the order in which the numbers are drawn is not important. That is, 1-2-3-4 is considered to be the same as 4-3-2-1. So although there is a total of 24 (4!) orders in which the balls numbered 1-2-3-4 can be picked, they are all treated as the same outcome. In doing this, the permutation of 4 balls from 14 becomes the combination of 4 balls from 14. That is, the total of 24,024 (14! / 10!, or 14x13x12x11) possible permutations is reduced by a factor of 24, to 1,001 combinations (or 14! / (10! x 4!)). Of these, 1 outcome is disregarded and 1,000 outcomes are distributed among the 14 non-playoff NBA teams. The combination 11-12-13-14 (in any order that those numbers are drawn) is not assigned and it is ignored if drawn; this has never occurred in practice.
So by this somewhat confusing math, we learn than each of the 14 teams has a statistical chance of winning the first pick, with the worst record team with the highest and the best record the lowest. Here are the numbers for teams 1-14 with one being the worst record (without ties):
- 250 combinations, 25.0% chance of receiving the #1 pick
- 199 combinations, 19.9% chance
- 156 combinations, 15.6% chance
- 119 combinations, 11.9% chance
- 88 combinations, 8.8% chance
- 63 combinations, 6.3% chance
- 43 combinations, 4.3% chance
- 28 combinations, 2.8% chance
- 17 combinations, 1.7% chance
- 11 combinations, 1.1% chance
- 8 combinations, 0.8% chance
- 7 combinations, 0.7% chance
- 6 combinations, 0.6% chance
- 5 combinations, 0.5% chance
The Warriors have a 0.8% chance this year of winning the draft according to ESPN's Chad Ford, while the Kings have a 7.5% chance. There are lot's of different scenarios at play that make their chances move around a bit from the above list, Now those numbers don't sound too promising, but that's the beauty of the lottery, it's all about the luck of the draw.
We'll be updating this stream frequently with more vital information for your everyday life, to stick with SB Nation Bay Area for complete coverage of the Warrirors and Kings draft process (yes, we will cover the Kings up until the potentially move to Anaheim).