NBA to hold draw Tuesday involving Houston’s draft pick via Portland

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The NBA will hold a random draw on Tuesday, May 25 involving the first-round draft slots of the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. All three finished with 42-30 records in the 2020-21 regular season.

Portland’s draft pick will go to the Houston Rockets as part of last offseason’s trade that sent Robert Covington there. The draw will be for spots Nos. 21, 22 and 23 in the 2021 first round.

While Houston knew earlier this week that Portland’s pick would be involved in a random draw, it did not know the scope. Had the Lakers missed the playoffs, they would have earned a lottery pick at No. 14, and the draw would have been limited to just Dallas and Portland for spots No. 22 and No. 23. Because the Lakers won Wednesday’s play-in tournament game to qualify for the playoffs, their draft slot is now part of the draw, as well — and that brings No. 21 into the equation, too.

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The tiebreakers used to decide playoff seeding between those three teams are not part of determining draft order. It’s a purely random draw.

Houston will own three picks in the 2021 draft’s first round: one from Milwaukee (No. 24), one from Portland (No. 21, 22, or 23), and either their own or the No. 18 choice from Miami. If Houston lands in the top four of the June 22 draft lottery; the Rockets keep their pick. If they are out of the top four, Oklahoma City will swap the Miami pick for Houston’s choice, owing to the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade.

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