NBA Draft Lottery: #1 Pick History

    
May 18th, 2009

Since the modern lottery format was started in 1994, the team with the worst record has only received the #1 pick twice. (However, the team with the best odds of getting #1 has won it 3 times due to an expansion quirk in 1996.) The past four seasons have seen a rush of mediocre, but not awful, teams winning the #1 pick. Chicago last year defied the odds with just a 1.7% chance.

 

However, it seems like we're due for one of the worst 3 teams to snag the top spot (which will almost certainly go to Blake Griffin). Considering the worst team has a 25% chance of the #1 pick, and this is the 16th year, it would only make sense that this is the 4th time that the #1 team gets the top spot.

 

Oddly, no team with the 4th worst record has ever snagged the top spot, although the 5th worst teams have done so 3 times.

 

  TEAM RECORD STANDINGS ODDS
2009 ? ? ?

?

2008 Chicago 33-49 9th

1.7%

2007 Portland 32-50 7th

5.3%

2006 Toronto 27-55 5th

8.8%

2005 Milwaukee 30-52 6th

6.3%

2004 Orlando 21-61 1st

25.0%

2003 Cleveland 17-65 T-1st

22.5%

2002 Houston 28-54 5th

8.9%

2001 Washington 19-63 3rd

15.7%

2000 New Jersey 31-52 7th

4.4%

1999 Chicago 13-37 3rd

15.7%

1998 LA Clippers 17-65 3rd

22.6%

1997 San Antonio 20-62 3rd*

21.6%

1996 Philadelphia 18-64 2nd*

33.7%

1995 Golden St 26-56 5th

9.4%

1994 Milwaukee 20-62 T-2nd

16.3%

 

*The expansion Grizzlies were barred from the 1st pick in 97 & 98, despite having the worst overall record.

 

Also See:

2009 Lottery Odds

 

2009 NBA DRAFT NBA Team Needs/Capsules - NBA Mock Draft - Top 100 Prospects