The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight, and for the fourth straight year the Denver Nuggets are participating. The Nuggets (40-42) finished the 2016-17 regular season with their highest win total since 2013 but still did not do enough to capture a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Nuggets, who are sending shooting guard Gary Harris as the team representative, enter the lottery as the owners of the No. 13 pick. Barring anything unlikely, that is where they will remain once the lottery is over. Denver has just a 2.2 percent chance of moving up to get a top-three pick and just a 0.6 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall selection.
The Miami Heat, who have a 1.8 percent chance of getting a top-three pick, are the only team with worse odds than Denver of moving up. If the Heat did beat the odds and move up, the Nuggets would pick 14th.
No team has ever jumped from No. 13 to No. 1 in the lottery order. The Charlotte Hornets did jump from 13th to third in 1999, however.
The Nuggets have historically been a snakebitten franchise when it comes to the lottery. They’ve never moved up, have dropped down eight times and retained their position six times. The highest Denver has ever picked is third.
You can watch the NBA Draft Lottery at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
In the meantime, you can drill into your brain just how unlikely it is for Denver to move up by simulating the draft order over on Tankathon. I simulated it 100 times yesterday. Denver didn’t move up once.
The NBA Draft Lottery has given us some great moments over the years. Who can forget Jerry West looking like he’d found out someone was embezzling millions from him when his Grizzlies finished as the runners-up in the LeBron James sweepstakes?
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