2021 NBA Draft Lottery: How to watch, odds for No. 1 pick


The NBA draft lottery doesn't include any actual basketball, and no future superstars will be selected that night. But it can still be one of the most impactful days of the offseason when it comes to the next generation of NBA legends, who could include Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley and Jalen Green.

Where each player goes is in some ways determined by the luck of the draw (or, in this case, ping pong balls). Only the 14 teams that did not make the postseason are included in the lottery, and in a draft that is considered by most to be littered with future stars, more than one team's future fortunes will likely change based on how the lottery plays out.

Here's everything you need to know about the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery.

When is the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery?

The 2021 NBA Draft Lottery takes place at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 22.

What is the NBA Draft Lottery?

The NBA draft lottery is a process to determine the draft order for the non-playoff teams in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft, which takes place on Thursday, July 29. Based on a team's record in the 2020-21 regular season, they receive odds to land certain picks in the draft. 

The lottery will determine only the top four picks in the draft, meaning the team with the worst record this season (the Houston Rockets) is still guaranteed to land in the top five.

After the first four picks are revealed, the following picks from No. 5 through No. 14 will be assigned by the inverse of the league standings. 

How can I watch the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery?

The 2021 NBA Draft Lottery will be broadcasted on ESPN. You can also stream the lottery on the ESPN or WatchESPN apps.

Who has the best odds to get the No. 1 pick?

The Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic are tied for the best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick at 14 percent.

After a season that saw them trade away their franchise player, lose 20 straight games and finish with the NBA's worst record, the Rockets will be hoping to secure the top overall selection for the first time since 2002, when they drafted Yao Ming. But should Houston's pick fall to No. 5, which has a 47.9-percent chance of happening, it will convey to the Oklahoma City Thunder due to the Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul trade.

The Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers are tied for the fourth-best odds of getting the first pick at 11.5 percent. The Minnesota Timberwolves are next at nine percent, but their pick will convey to the Golden State Warriors if it lands outside the top three (72.5-percent chance) as per the conditions of the Andrew Wiggins-D'Angelo Russell trade.

The only other lottery pick whose ownership hangs in the balance is the Chicago Bulls'. Chicago dealt a top-four protected 2021 pick to acquire Nikola Vucevic from Orlando at the trade deadline. So unless their pick moves into the top four (20.2-percent chance) it will be heading to the Magic.

Here is a full look at the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery odds:

1. Houston Rockets (17-55) -- 14 percent

2. Detroit Pistons (20-52) -- 14 percent

3. Orlando Magic (21-51) -- 14 percent

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (22-50) -- 11.5 percent

5. Cleveland Cavaliers (22-50) -- 11.5 percent

6. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-49) -- 9 percent

7. Toronto Raptors (27-45) -- 7.5 percent

8. Chicago Bulls (31-41) -- 4.5 percent

9. Sacramento Kings (31-41) -- 4.5 percent

10. New Orleans Pelicans (31-41) -- 4.5 percent

11. Charlotte Hornets (33-39) -- 1.8 percent

12. San Antonio Spurs (33-39) -- 1.7 percent

13. Indiana Pacers (34-38) -- 1 percent

14. Golden State Warriors (39-33) -- 0.5 percent

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