Hornets’ Lottery Probabilities 2

Just what are our chances in the NBA Draft Lottery now?

A little over two weeks ago, we brought you a look at the Hornets draft lottery situation, calculating a range of probabilities for some situations of interest.

At 19-43, the Hornets are last in the West with 4 games left to play. Charlotte has the top lottery slot locked up, but the Hornets can still theoretically fall into a wide range of slots. The most likely positions are 3-5, possibly with a tie. In the event of a tie of t teams in terms of final record, the average number of combinations for the t slots that are appropriate for those teams is assigned to each team, with the number of combinations that do not get distributed evenly being assigned randomly. Given the logjam in the Hornets’ record strata, this is a realistic outcome.

We ignore this for now, continuing with our bounding strategy. We’ll release the final probabilities once all the teams are slotted, as a tie elsewhere in the standings affects teams’ chances at draft picks below 1.

At 25-38, the Timberwolves have three games left to play and are likely to finish in the ninth or tenth slot, though more are mathematically possible at this point.

Further details can be found in the linked post above.

Single Top X Pick: The following table shows the ranges of the probabilities for the Hornets having at least one pick in the top X. The range is defined by the likely final ranks listed above, ignoring the possibility of a tie. This includes the effects of both picks and allows for both picks coming in.

[table id=25 /]

For example, if the Hornets have the third slot and the Timberwolves have the ninth slot, there is a probability of 0.511 of getting at least one top 3 pick. This drops to 0.324 if the slots are the fifth and tenth.

If the Hornets fall into slot s, then they are more likely than not to get at least one pick in the top s, a fact which is not true with only one draft pick.

They also have a probability of at least 0.90 of getting at least one top 6 pick, and at least 90% chance of a top 5 pick if their own draft slot is 3.

Double Top X Pick: The following table shows the ranges of the probabilities for the Hornets having both picks in the top X. The range is defined by the likely final ranks listed above, ignoring the possibility of a tie.

[table id=26 /]

These results are largely driven by the Timberwolves’ lottery slot, with both the 0.50 and 0.90 cut point being equal to their draft slot.

We’ll send out an update at the end of the season or if the situation changes dramatically.

11 responses to “Hornets’ Lottery Probabilities 2”

  1. …out of curiosity, why post an update now when we will have final numbers in a week? Do you think we’re that impatient?

    • I’m not sure why impatience of someone else would motivate me to do anything. If anything, the contrary.

      I thought it would be nice to know what the effects of wins and losses were with about a week to go. Since the range of slots differed greatly from my last post, and I’d have to do some work in the end anyway, I could do some now and let people who what they were looking at in terms of the draft in a quantitative manner when we or other people lose or win.

      If you find the ‘final numbers’ for the probability that both of our picks land, say, in the top 7 somehwere else in about a week, I think that’s great. I haven’t seen anyone provide such numbers for a pair of picks through the draft. If I had, I’d spend my writing time in other ways.

      You are welcome.

    • @chuck – if you don’t see a reason behind the article, then don’t read it. Some of us appreciate the quality work put in on this site.

      • Yeah, I do too. Does that mean I’m never allowed to question or criticize anything?

  2. Speaking of the draft, I was wondering if I could suggest a topic of interest. I am sure you guys have done it, and I just haven’t seen the post or podcast (which I can’t listen too anymore because of European interent download limits). However, would you guys be interested in doing a post about what Dealer Dell might go through if he doesn’t get number one?

    Is it at all likely we would package are two picks and try to move up to the number one spot? I know there was a post about players we could trade for if we don’t land the top spot, but I was thinking specifically moves that would still get us the Unibrow. Or is all hope lost with out numero uno?

  3. With 2-3 games left, depending on the team, Minni is nearly locked into the 10th worst record. Once that happens the odd range will narrow a good bit. If the Hornets ‘lose out’ to close the season, they will fall some where between 3rd worst and a three way tie for 3rd worst (which is basically a three way tie for 4th worst ping pong balls).

  4. Minni is now locked into 10th worst, which limits the range of odds significantly. The Hornets can “rise” as far as a three way tie for 5th worst record, but I expect them to be 3rd worst without a tie. Go TANK!

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