With the NBA draft edging closer as the playoffs near completion and a new
generation of stars look to get their break, we take a look at how the draft
process works for the NBA's expectant teams.
The first step of the draft is for the 'Draft Combine' to be held. The draft combine is a showcase for the draft prospects to show off their athletic abilities to interested spectators.
It allows for executives, coaches, scouts and doctors to analyse each participant and his skills ahead of the upcoming draft.
Draft prospects do not have to take part in the combine if they choose not to, although you would have to either have yourself a huge reputation beforehand or be confident in your college ability doing enough to earn you a pick.
The participants showcase their talents in a range of activities including spot up shooting, lane agility drills, shuttle runs and maximum vertical leap amongst others, and their vitals including height with shoes, wingspan and hand length are all measured by the attending representatives.
This year saw projected first overall pick Andrew Wiggins choose not to attend the combine. However, his vertical jump picture that went viral on Instagram did more for his reputation than any combine performance would have done, especially when his agent claimed it was a 44 inch jump, higher than any other combine attendee.
Next up in the process is for the 'Draft Lottery' to take place. The draft lottery includes only the 14 teams that did not make this season's playoffs with the team who finishes with the worst record given the highest chance of getting the first draft pick.
In the lottery itself, each team is given a share of the 1000 possible combinations from 14 balls to be drawn by the lottery machine.
The team with the worst record is given 250 combinations and has a 25% chance of getting chosen for the first pick, the second worst receives 199 combinations and a 19.9% chance and so on. The best placed team receives just five combinations and a 0.5% chance.
The machine produces four balls and regardless of the order that the balls come out, the team with these four numbers in any order as one of their received combinations gets the first pick in the NBA draft.
After the number one pick is determined, the process is then repeated to choose second and third pick. If a team that has already received a pick gets drawn again, the process is repeated until a different team is chosen.
After pick three is drawn in the lottery, the remaining teams are chosen in reverse order of their win-loss records to make a pick from the remaining candidates, rather than via the lottery.
If a lottery pick is traded to another team, the original teams record still determines the placement in the lottery, and the traded sides assignment of chances are based on the trading team rather than their own, meaning a side in the playoffs could still end up with first pick thanks to a lower ranked sides decision to trade.
The lottery takes place in private, with representatives from all of the teams in the draw as well as independent auditors although it is not shown live on television which has previously fuelled speculation that the NBA will occasionally fix a lottery to benefit the league.
Although the worst placed teams have more chances, it is possible for the best placed and lower chance teams to pick up the first pick though, as has happened most notoriously in 2003 when Orlando Magic got first pick with just a 1.52% chance of this occurring.
Some of the biggest first picks in recent years have been Blake Griffin to the LA Clippers in 2009, Derrick Rose to the Chicago Bulls in 2008, LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 and Yao Ming to the Houston Rockets in 2002.
What will this years draft bring for the NBA organisations?
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