NBA Draft Lottery 2024: Schedule, history, best odds, lottery explained

2023 NBA Draft Lottery
2023 NBA Draft Lottery

Fortunes are going to change on Sunday — both for some NBA franchises and some of the best young players in the world.

That's when the NBA Draft Lottery takes place in Chicago — the order of the first 14 picks in the 2024 NBA Draft will be decided. One lucky team will get the No. 1 pick, a shot at a franchise-changing player. Also, top players will start to see where they might land. While scouts consider this a down draft year at the top — there is no clear franchise player like Victor Wembanyama or Anthony Edwards — there will be stars who come out of this draft. (The 2013 NBA Draft was considered a down draft, with Anthony Bennett and Victor Oladipo going with the first two picks, but that draft also had Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, and CJ McCollum.)

How does it all work? Here's everything you need to know about the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery.

When is the NBA Draft Lottery 2024?

The 2024 NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Sunday, May 12, at 3 p.m. ET, and the results will be broadcast on ABC.

Which team has the best odds to get the first overall pick?

Two teams have the best odds for the No. 1 pick, the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards, at 14% each. The Pistons had the best odds for the No. 1 pick a year ago but slid down to fifth (where they selected Ausar Thompson).

What are the Odds for NBA Draft Lottery 2024

Team name

Odds at No. 1 pick

Odds at top three pick

Detroit Pistons



Washington Wizards



Charlotte Hornets



Portland Trail Blazers



San Antonio Spurs



Toronto Raptors (1-6, if 7+ conveys to Spurs)



Memphis Grizzlies



Utah Jazz (1-10, if 11+ conveys to Thunder)



Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn)



Atlanta Hawks



Chicago Bulls



Houston Rockets (1-4, if 5+ conveys to Thunder)



Sacramento Kings



Golden State Warriors (1-4, if 5+ conveys to Trail Blazers)



How does the NBA Draft Lottery work?

While NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will unseal the envelopes for the top 14 picks during a broadcast to the world, that's not the real lottery. That's just show business.

The actual lottery takes place about an hour before in a separate, sealed-off room in front of NBA officials, representatives from each of the involved teams, a few media members, and representatives of the accounting firm Ernst & Young (which oversees the process).

It works this way: 14 ping-pong balls — numbered 1 through 14 — are placed into a lottery machine (like those seen on state-run lottery broadcasts, where it spits out one ball at a time). There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of the 14 in the machine. Before the drawing starts, 1,000 combinations are assigned to the participating lottery teams based on their odds (for example, Detroit has a 14% chance of winning the lottery, so it gets 140 possible combinations).

Four balls are drawn out and the team with the winning combination gets the No. 1 pick. The exact same process of drawing balls is done for picks No. 2-4 (if the same team is drawn twice that drawing is discarded). Picks No. 5-14 will follow the team's record order from last season (meaning the team with the worst record cannot drop below fifth).

Which team has won the NBA draft lottery the most times?

Since the NBA went to a draft lottery starting in 1985 — back when David Stern was pulling envelopes out of a fish bowl — two teams have won the NBA Draft Lottery four times:

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Both won it in back-to-back years at one point—Orlando picked Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Webber (whom they traded on draft night for Penny Hardaway) in 1992 and 1993, while the Cavaliers had less success with their picks of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins in 2013 and 2014.

Four teams have won the NBA Draft Lottery three times: The San Antonio Spurs (including last year when they picked Victor Wembanyama), the Los Angeles Clippers, the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Can you bet on the NBA Draft Lottery 2024?


However, this is not something sharp bettors, professional bettors get into because there is no advantage to be gained, no edge, said Drew Dinsick, betting analyst for NBC Sports. The odds players can get at their favorite legal betting site directly follow the odds of a team winning the lottery (both the Pistons and Wizards are +550 to get the No. 1 pick at DraftKings, for example), and no human factor is involved. This isn't like a playoff game where a bettor might think the market is misreading something or strongly believes in a particular outcome, this is a lot more like betting on a roulette wheel, where things are random.