5th, 6th, or 7th – What the Numbers Say About Where We Will Draft

Published: April 8, 2013

We will know in 9 days how many lottery balls we will have for the May 21st Draft Lottery. Some teams have seperated themselves, and now the Hornets find themselves in a tier with Detroit and Sacramento fighting for the 5th, 6th, and 7th spots in the draft lottery. Detroit has 26 wins, while New Orleans and Sacramento each have 27. Now that we have a little better idea of where we are going to end up, let’s take a look at what it all means.

#1 Overall Pick

The Fifth Spot gives you a 8.8% chance at the pick

The Sixth Spot gives you a 6.3% chance at the pick.

The Seventh Spot gives you a 4.3% chance at the pick

Top 3 Pick

The Fifth Spot gives you a 29.2% chance of landing a top three pick

The Sixth Spot gives you a 21.5% chance of landing a top three pick

The Seventh Spot gives you a 15% chance of landing a top three pick

Falling in the Lotto

The Fifth Spot has a 44.8% chance of falling at least one position in the draft

The Sixth Spot has a 34.6% chance of falling at least one position in the draft

The Seventh Spot has a 25% chance of falling at least one position in the draft

What it All Means

The fifth position is pretty interesting because teams stay in that slot just 26% percent of the time. They are more likely to either move up or down than stay where they are. The sixth and seventh positions are a little different. The most likely outcome in those cases is that the Hornets would stay where they are. In all scenarios, however, it is very unlikely that the Hornets would fall more than one spot if they were to fall. There is about the same chance of falling two slots as there is of winning the lotto in each situation.

The fifth slot is the only slot out of the three that has a better than 50/50 chance of landing a top five pick (55.2%). This is significant because, as Ryan has pointed out on multiple occassions, a guy drafted in the top 5 is much more likely to be an ‘A’ or ‘B’ player than a guy taken 6-10. Also, from my perspective, there is a huge drop off after my top five prospects – Smart, Noel, Oladipo, Porter, and McLemore. I honestly have no idea who would be #6 for Dell after those guys and I have been tracking this all year. If you are in the 6th spot, you only have that same 21.5% chance of getting a top 5 pick, and the sixth slot has a 15% chance. That is where the huge difference lies in these three positions.

Looking Ahead

This will all come down to Wednesday night in my opinion when the Hornets go to Sacramento to play the Kings. Looking at the Kings schedule, it is hard to imagine them winning any game other than the Hornets one. New Orleans will be without Eric Gordon because it will be the second night of a back-to-back. Meanwhile, Detroit has a couple of easy games coming up, including Charlotte and Cleveland. They will also be playing a Nets team on the final night that will likely have nothing to play for and will be resting players. Bottom line, I expect the winner of the Hornets-Kings game to be in the 7th slot, the loser to be 5th. Big, big game.


I just don't understand why you guys are so fixated on "fixing" the point guard position when the wings on this team are so terrible. We rely too heavily on scoring from GV, AD and RA. Consistent scoring is the problem not defense. Grant it we do have Gordon, but with his glass body and pitch like rotation, I can't wrap my head around why would we pass up on an elite SG/SF in the draft. In my opinion, the problem is that we are lacking a guy with size, athletism and ability to create his own shoot. It seems to me that the interest is more to getting rid of GV than to improve the team. I'm more interested in getting an elite athletic SG/SF like Ben McLemore, Shabazz Muhammad, Victor Oladipo or Otto Porter. Here's food thought... what does it say about the defense of those so call elite PGs who have allowed GV to average a double double on them?


The only teams in the lottery that don't seem to be actively losing each game are New Orleans, Charlotte and Sacramento. So there is a chance that the best team wins tonight. Detroit and Phoenix have been in active and purposeful free fall for weeks, as has Cleveland.




Come onnnnnn 5th! Lol. If we don't get to a certain spot in the draft, do you see us trading up to get someone if the Hornets really like someone?


It really bugs me how nervous im getting over these needed losses, saying to myself... "if only this shot didnt go in" or "that team's player didn't do that" Wanna get back to redirecting that anxiety towords playoff seeding like a couple of years ago. But gotta be patient ;) But hey just a question thats bigged me all year and i haven't ever asked on here, if we didnt lose that coin toss to Cleveland would our ping pong balls have been switched and hence probably Lillard or Waiters would be our first piece right now? Or would we still have had the same combinations but just simply placed behind Cleveland in the lottery order?


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