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Lottery Scenarios

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How things could play out tonight, with help from this dude, via the illustrious Henry Abbott at True Hoop:

A: SACRAMENTO WINS, CHARLOTTE WINS, PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sacramento and Charlotte tie for 9th worst record. Sacramento will have a 1.4% chance for the 1st pick,  1.65% for 2nd pick, 1.99% for 3rd pick. Coin flip will determine who picks 9th if neither get a top 3 pick. Lowest Kings can pick is 13th; most likely is 9th or 10th.

B: SACRAMENTO WINS, CHARLOTTE WINS, PHILADELPHIA LOSES
All three teams tie for 9th worst record. Sacramento will have a 1.2% chance for 1st, 1.42% for 2nd, 1.71% for 3rd. Coin flips will determine order of 9th, 10th, and 11th picks if no teams get top 3 pick. Lowest Kings can pick is 14th; most likely is 9th, 10th, or 11th.

C: SACRAMENTO WINS, CHARLOTTE LOSES, PHILADELPHIA LOSES
Worst case scenario. Charlotte ends season with 9th worst record, Kings and Sixers tie for 10th worst. Sacramento has 0.95% chance for 1st pick, 1.125% chance for 2nd, 1.365% chance for 3rd. Coin flip determines order of 10th and 11th picks if neither team wins top 3 pick. Lowest Kings can pick is 14th; most likely is 10th or 11th.

D: SACRAMENTO LOSES, CHARLOTTE WINS, NY LOSES, MINNESOTA LOSES, PORTLAND LOSES
Sacramento finishes in sole possession of 9th worst record. Sacramento has 1.7% chance for 1st pick, 2.0% chance for 2nd, 2.41% for 3rd. If Sacramento does not win top 3 pick, then most likely pick is 9th; worst case is 12th.

E: SACRAMENTO LOSES, CHARLOTTE LOSES, NY WINS, MINNESOTA LOSES, PORTLAND LOSES
(Note: Charlotte plays NY Wednesday; only one can win.) Sacramento, Charlotte, and New York tie for 8th worst record. Sacramento has 1.8% chance for 1st pick, 2.2% chance for 2nd, 2.63% chance for 3rd. Coin flip will determine order of 8th, 9th, and 10th picks if no team gets top 3 pick. Most likely pick is 8-10; worst case is 13th.

F: SACRAMENTO LOSES, CHARLOTTE WINS, NY LOSES, MINNESOTA WINS, PORTLAND WINS
Sacramento, Minnesota, and Portland tie for 7th. New York is 6th, Charlotte 10th. Sacramento has a 2.9% chance for 1st pick, roughly 5% chance for 2nd, roughly 5.5% chance for 3rd. (Can't find exact odds for this scenario.) Coin flip decides order of 7-9 if none get top 3 pick. Likely pick: 7-9. Worst case pick: 12.

G: SACRAMENTO LOSES, CHARLOTTE LOSES, NY WINS, MINNESOTA WINS, PORTLAND WINS
Best case and least likely scenario. All five teams tie for 6th. Kings have 3.2% chance for 1st pick, 3.72% chance for 2nd pick, 4.384% chance for 3rd pick. Coin flips decide order of 6-10. (!) Most likely pick: somewhere between 6 and 10. Worst case: 13th. (Yikes.)

There's one other outcome: Sacramento loses, Charlotte loses, New York wins, one of Portland or Minnesota wins. Then, four teams would be tied for 7th. I can't even begin to figure odds for that, but they'd be very slightly worse than Scenario F.

SUMMARY:
Philadelphia only matters if Sacramento wins. If Philadelphia wins at Toronto (4pm Pacific start), Philadelphia doesn't matter. If Sacramento loses to the Lakers (7pm Pacific start), Philadelphia doesn't matter.

Charlotte and Sacramento are tied, and thus most closely dependent on each other losing. Each team's best case comes with themselves losing and the other winning. Charlotte hosts New York, start time is 4 pm Pacific.

Both Sacramento and Charlotte would love to see Minnesota and Portland win. If they both win and both Sacramento and Charlotte lose (which also means New York wins), then the 6-10 picks come down to coin flips and all teams shared essentially equal opportunity for the top 3 picks.

Minnesota is the most desparately in need of a loss. They play at Memphis. If Scenario G happens and coin flips send Minnesota to the 10th slot, and just one of the 11-14 teams gets lucky with a top 3 pick (which has happened several times before), Minnesota loses its first-round pick due to a conditional trade with the Clippers. If the Wolves lose, it'd been impossible to lose the pick. It's still unlikely they'll lose the pick anyways, but they can assure it with a loss.

New York has no horse in this race, as their first-round pick goes to Chicago due to the Eddy Curry trade. But Charlotte has every reason to lose as far as the draft positioning goes - they win, and they're looking at 9th or 10th. They lose, they have a decent shot at top 3 and a coin flip's chance at 6th or 7th. Charlotte has every reason to lose.

Portland hosts Golden State, who needs to win to assure a playoff spot. I think Portland will lose, I know Minnesota will lose, and I'm pretty sure Charlotte will lose.

Which leaves it up to the Kings. If they care about this stuff (not clear), they'll start Quincy Douby and Vitaly Potapenko. If not, then it comes down to Charlotte and Philadelphia (games which will be over by Sacramento's tip-off). We'll see soon.