2024 NBA draft lottery: Date, time, how to watch, top prospects and more

While there’s no prospect with superstar potential like LeBron James or Victor Wembanyama projected in the 2024 NBA draft, there are a multitude of players who could alter the course of franchises. On Sunday afternoon, we’ll finally know who has first dibs at adding that talent.

Fourteen NBA teams will be drawn via pingpong balls and placed in order. Which have the best odds at securing the No. 1 pick and who will be in the running for that spot? Let’s dive into it.

How to watch the NBA draft lottery

Date: Sunday, May 12

Time: 3 p.m. ET

Location: Chicago

Broadcast: ABC

Odds to win the No. 1 selection

How the lottery is determined

The NBA draft lottery includes the teams with the 14 worst regular-season records, all represented by varying numbers of pingpong balls. The top two teams — Detroit and Washington — have the most balls and hence the highest chances of being picked.

Here’s the process according to the NBA:

“Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.

“The drawing process occurs in the following manner: All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for 20 seconds, and then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds, and then the second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the No. 1 pick. The same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second through fourth picks.”

Top prospects to watch

It’s harsh to say, but this draft is regarded as one of the worst in recent memory. There is no guaranteed stud with monster potential like James, Wembanyama or even Paolo Banchero. But there are still extremely talented prospects that could be difference-makers for their teams.

Let’s look at a few of the consensus best players.

Alex Sarr, forward/center, Perth Wildcats

A physical outlier officially listed at 7-foot-1, 217 pounds, with a 7-foot-4½-inch wingspan and 9-foot-2½-inch standing reach. The Frenchman is an explosive athlete who can finish around the rim. However, his best work is on the defensive end, where he can guard a forward or center near the hoop or on the perimeter.

Zaccharie Risacher, small forward, JL Bourg

The 6-foot-8 wing possesses great size for a modern wing. He has a strong jumper, great passing ability and improving ball-handling skills. Risacher’s length allows him to guard multiple positions on defense.

Donovan Clingan, center, Connecticut

A star for the Huskies as they won the 2024 NCAA Tournament in dominant fashion, the 7-foot-2 big man averaged 13 points and 7.4 rebounds this past season. Clingan’s 7-foot-7 wingspan makes him an elite player around the rim both offensively and defensively.

Robert Dillingham, guard, Kentucky

The 6-foot-3 Dillingham is a slithery guard who can score from anywhere on the floor. He hit 44.8% of his 3-pointers as a freshman and has true playmaking ability.

Will Bronny James get drafted?

Well, first it depends on if he even remains in the NBA draft. James, the elder son of basketball superstar LeBron James, declared in April but has until May 29 to decide whether to officially go pro or return to college for his sophomore season.

James only averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists at the University of Southern California last year, and if not for his last name he would probably get no legitimate consideration. But his father is his father, and some teams might be open to picking him in hopes of luring LeBron.

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