New Orleans Pelicans Lottery Projections – One Final Look

Published: April 11, 2013

With just one week until the end of the 2012-13 NBA regular season, we take one last look at where the Hornets stand among the other lottery-bound teams.


First, each potential lottery team’s record and remaining schedule:

  1. Charlotte Bobcats (18-60) – at Detroit, vs. Milwaukee, vs. New York, vs. Cleveland
  2. Orlando Magic (20-59)vs. Boston, vs. Chicago, at Miami
  3. Phoenix Suns (24-55) – at Minnesota, vs. Houston, at Denver
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers (24-54) – vs. New York, at Philadelphia, vs. Miami, at Charlotte
  5. Detroit Pistons (27-52) – vs. Charlotte, vs. Philadelphia, at Brooklyn
  6. New Orleans Hornets (27-52) – vs. LA Clippers, vs. Dallas, at Dallas
  7. Sacramento Kings (28-50) – at San Antonio, at Houston, at OKC, vs. LA Clippers
  8. Washington Wizards (29-50) – vs. Philadelphia, at Brooklyn, at Chicago
  9. Minnesota Timberwolves (29-49) – at Utah, vs. Phoenix, vs. Utah, at San Antonio
  10. Toronto Raptors (30-48) – vs. Chicago, vs. Brooklyn, at Atlanta, vs. Boston
  11. Philadelphia 76ers (31-47) – at Washington, vs. Cleveland, at Detroit, at Indiana
  12. Portland Trail Blazers (33-45) – vs. OKC, at Denver, at LA Clippers, vs. Golden State
  13. Dallas Mavericks (38-40) – vs. Denver, at New Orleans, vs. Memphis, vs. New Orleans
  14. Utah Jazz (41-38) – vs. Minnesota, at Minnesota, at Memphis
  15. Los Angeles Lakers (42-37) – vs. Golden State, vs. San Antonio, vs. Houston


Given the above data, we can place each of the bottom 11 teams into four tiers. Barring an entirely unexpected string of events, the teams in each tier won’t move into another tier by season’s end.

Tier 1: Charlotte and Orlando

Tier 2: Phoenix and Cleveland

Tier 3: Detroit, New Orleans, and Sacramento

Tier 4: Washington, Minnesota, Toronto, and Philadelphia

Portland, Dallas, and Utah/Los Angeles are each almost certainly locked into their current spots.


Final Projections + odds of receiving #1 pick

1.  Charlotte Bobcats (19-63)  25%

2. Orlando Magic (20-62)  19.9%

3. Phoenix Suns (24-58)  15.6%

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (25-57)  11.9%

5. New Orleans Hornets (27-55)  8.8%

6. Sacramento Kings (28-54)  6.3%

7. Detroit Pistons (29-53) 4.3%

8a. Washington Wizards (30-52)  2.25%

8b. Minnesota Timberwolves (30-52)  2.25%

10. Toronto Raptors (31-51)  1.1%

11. Philadelphia 76ers (32-50)  0.8%

12. Portland Trail Blazers (33-49)  0.7%

13. Dallas Mavericks (40-42)  0.6%

14. Utah Jazz (43-39)  0.5%


Note: The Hornets’ 0-3 projection down the stretch is heavily correlated to their current injury concerns. Vasquez admittedly had trouble playing through his injured ankle last night, and there is a strong chance that Davis may be shut down for the last week of the season after the knee sprain he suffered last night. If they are on the court and healthy by Sunday, I would expect them to beat the Mavericks in the team’s home finale.

((Update: Davis is done for the season.))


Leave your thoughts on how the standings will end up in the comments below!


  1. cmac81

    April 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Yup I will happily take the 5th slot in the draft.

  2. Nate

    April 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Top 5 is great.

    We can get Smart, Oladipo, Porter, McLemore or Noel with a top 5.

  3. jroger12

    April 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I still like Trey Burke. Btw, when will the website change to

  4. BrowDown

    April 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I was actually thinking about what I’d realistically want the standings to be from a Pelicans’ perspective.
    For the 1st tier, I’d rather Charlotte finish with the worst record. They’re just awful. While the Magic aren’t much better, they do have nice pieces in Vucevic, Afflalo, and Harkless, so I’d rather give them #2. Also these are the two teams I want to get top 2 next year so Wiggins and Parker go to two teams in the East that don’t have a bright future right now.
    The second tier is a toss up. If I had to choose, I’d rather Phoenix above Cleveland. I am a little afraid of Irving and the Cavs when we’re contending, so I’d rather keep a better pick away from them. Also, the last two years, Cleveland has reached at 4 so maybe they will again and push a better player down. Lastly, a 3rd pick would give Phoenix a better player which would hopefully keep Wiggins and Parker away from them.
    3rd tier: New Orleans (obviously), then Detroit 6, and Sacramento 7. Just give the western conference team a lower pick.
    4th: Washington, Minnesota, Philly, Toronto. Keep Western Conference picks lower; but I don’t think Philly can catch Minny. Also, give Thunder as low a pick as possible.
    And lastly, just let the Lakers miss the playoffs cause it would be awesome.
    So my dream finishing standings:
    1) Charlotte
    2) Orlando
    3) Phoenix
    4) Cleveland
    5) New Orleans
    6) Detroit
    7) Sacramento
    8) Washington
    9) Minnesota
    10) Philly
    11) Toronto
    12) Portland
    13) Dallas
    14) Phoenix (via Lakers)

    • BrowDown

      April 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      11 should read Oklahoma City (via Toronto)

  5. mateor

    April 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I have hoped for a top five pick from the first game of the season.

    From dreaming about ping pong balls to fearing them.

  6. Hank

    April 12, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Love to see a front line of Bledsoe, Oladipo, Deng, Davis, and Pekovic with a bench of Roberts, Rivers, Brewer, Anderson, and Smith with maybe one more knock down shooter. That would have to be the most athletic and best defensive starting backcourt in the NBA.

  7. 504ever

    April 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Detroit beat Charlotte! Now all we have to do is lose twice to Dallas when they have no incentive to win.

    • Michael McNamara

      April 14, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Dallas has HUGE incentive to win tonight. They get to shave if and when they get back to .500. They are 39-40 right now. They will be going all out. As for Wednesday, I am not so sure but it will be their final home game of the season, so I am sure they want to leave the fans with a good taste in their mouth.

      • 504ever

        April 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

        It’s the second game I was think about when noting we had to lose twice.

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