NBA Draft Lottery 2023 Explained: How it works, team odds, timings

NBA Draft 2023 Lottery will be held in Chicago on May 16. Here is how it works and why 7’4 Victor Wembanyama is hot property.

Published : May 10, 2023 20:28 IST , CHENNAI - 2 MINS READ

French basketball player Victor Wembanyama is expected to be the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft in 2023.
French basketball player Victor Wembanyama is expected to be the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft in 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

French basketball player Victor Wembanyama is expected to be the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft in 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

The NBA Draft Lottery 2023 is all set to take place in Chicago on May 16, a day before the Draft Combine game.

The lottery gives a chance to the teams finishing outside the Playoffs places to acquire the top prospects listed for a particular year’s draft.

The lottery this year will be widely followed, as the team winning the No. 1 pick will be the one to get the signature of the highly-touted Victor Wembanyama.


The lottery is conducted for the first four picks in an NBA Draft, using 14 ping-pong balls numbered one to 14.

The 14 balls are put into a lottery bowl and four balls are drawn out from the pack after an interval of 10 seconds.

This process, of drawing out four out of 14 balls, gives a total of 1001 combinations. 1000 of these combinations are alloted to the 14 NBA teams taking part in the lottery process, based on their odds. Naturally, teams finishing lower have better odds to get a higher pick.

Example - If four balls drawn out of the lottery bowl in one particular go are numbered three, seven, eight and 11. This gives the combination 3-7-8-11. Whichever team has this combination assigned to it, will win the draft pick.

In 2022, the first combination drawn out of the lottery bowl was 14-1-13-6 which was assigned to Orlando Magic. Hence, Magic got the No. 1 pick with which they signed Paolo Banchero.

If a combination is drawn out twice, it will be discarded and the process repeated. Similarly, if a team gets more than one picks, the combination will be discarded and a fresh combination will be drawn out.


Team Win-Loss Record in 2022 Lottery Odds
Detroit Pistons 17-65 14.0%
Houston Rockets 22-60 14.0%
San Antonio Spurs 22-60 14.0%
Charlotte Hornets 27-55 12.5%
Portland Trailblazers 33-49 10.5%
Orlando Magic 34-48 9.0%
Indiana Pacers 35-47 6.8%
Washington Wizards 35-47 6.7%
Utah Jazz 37-45 4.5%
Dallas Mavericks 38-44 3.0%
Chicago Bulls 40-42 1.8%
Oklahoma City Thunder 40-42 1.7%
Toronto Raptors 41-41 1.0%
New Orleans Pelicans 42-40 0.5%

In this table, the Pistons, which ended last in the Eastern Conference this season, have 14% odds for getting a pick. That means the team will have 140 out of the 1000 combinations in the lottery.

On the other hand, New Orleans finished ninth in the Western Conference and has the least odds - just five combinations out of the possible 1000.


The Draft picks for the remainder of the first round (No. 15-30) and the entire second round (No. 30-60), are determined by reverse order of regular season record.


The NBA Draft Lottery will take place on May 16 at 8:30 PM ET at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

The results of the NBA Draft Lottery will be telecast on ESPN in the United States. The live stream for the event will be available on

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