For the Atlanta Hawks, this final game of the 2018 season is pivotal in the determination of the 2018 NBA Draft positioning. Coming down the stretch and into the final game of this season, Peachtree Hoops has been doing daily updates to break down Atlanta’s fluctuating lottery position and also the status of the other two first-round selections owed to the Hawks by Minnesota and Houston.
Hawks draft position
The Hawks have finally officially been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2007. So, with no Tragic Number to track anymore, this section of the ping-pong chronicles will be dedicated to the Hawks constantly changing position in the lottery.
As of right now, Atlanta sits tied with Dallas and Orlando for the third-worst record in the NBA. Tankathon.com gives them a 42.3% chance at securing a top-3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and a 13.7% chance at snagging the number one overall pick. If all three teams lose out and end up in a tie they will have equal chances at snagging a top-3 pick and equal chances at the number one overall pick. If the teams do not finish with a top three pick a coin flip will be used to decide the tiebreakers.
Atlanta’s chances at the top pick will be up to the lottery at this point as Phoenix and Memphis have both clinched the number one and two seeds respectively. There is a chance for the teams to separate the tie as all teams still have one game remaining. The Hawks will face the 76ers tonight in their final game of 2018.
Minnesota and Houston pick status
Atlanta continues to hold the second-most valuable array of draft selections according to tankathon.com’s composite draft score ratings. Phoenix, the only other team that could control three first-round picks, currently sits ahead of Atlanta’s composite draft score of 136.07 with a score of 152.42.
The Hawks are also keeping a close eye on the Timberwolves and Rockets records since Atlanta owns both Houston’s and Minnesota’s first-round picks if everything falls into place. Minnesota’s pick is protected for selections 1-14 in the Draft which means the team would need to make the Playoffs for the pick to convey. Minnesota now sits as the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoff race leading to some too-close-for-comfort feelings for the Hawks.
The Timberwolves pick all comes down to tomorrow night. With a win by Minnesota, the pick will convey. With a win by Denver, the Hawks will have to wait another season to see if the pick will convey. The pick will roll over to the first round from this season through 2020, and after 2020 it will turn into second round picks in 2020 and 2021.
This is all very troubling news, but the good news is that Jimmy Butler is back and that Minnesota basically has home court advantage for this Playoff game.
In better news, the pick owed to the Hawks by the Houston Rockets has now officially conveyed after the Rockets clinched a playoff berth by way of a magical 17-game win streak. The Rockets were able to clinch homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs and therefore lock the Hawks into the 30th pick in the draft.
It is comforting to know that the Hawks will now for sure have at least two first-round picks in the coming 2018 NBA Draft. Minnesota’s pick owed to the Hawks looks more and more likely to convey with each game.
Other teams at the bottom
Atlanta’s own pick positioning will be majorly influenced by the status of those teams that currently surround the Hawks at the bottom of the standings. Here are updates on the teams that are currently behind Atlanta in the league standings.
The Suns lost yet again Sunday night to the Golden State Warriors to lock in their position at the worst record in the NBA. Phoenix owns the best odds to pick number one in the NBA Draft this summer with a 25% chance to win the first pick. The Suns final game is irrelevant to their positioning, but potentially is huge for the Hawks as they play Orlando tonight who sit tied with the Hawks for the third-worst record.
Memphis lost to the Timberwolves last night securing themselves in the second-worst record positioning. The Grizzlies will hold a 55.8% chance at a top three pick and will own a 19.9% chance at number one overall in the Draft Lottery. Their final game is tomorrow against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Orlando Magic were blown out by the Milwaukee Bucks last night and will have a decent chance to pick up the win on Wednesday against the resting Wizards. Orlando is currently tied with Atlanta and Dallas, as mentioned before.
Dallas was unable to pull the upset Sunday over the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers. The Mavericks play Phoenix tonight holding a serious chance to move up to the fourth-worst record with a win.
The aforementioned Kings took the loss last night in a tight game against San Antonio. Sacramento sits two full games ahead of the Hawks and thus cannot clinch the third-worst record. The Kings go out against the Rockets tomorrow night.
The Nets were able to pick up the win last night against the Bulls and now move all the way up to the ninth worst-record overall. Brooklyn does not own their first-round pick and will be trying to win their final game on Wednesday against the Celtics.
Chicago, as mentioned before, took the loss last night to the Brooklyn Nets and continue to nosedive at the end of this season. They have now fallen all the way into the seventh-worst record and finish up against Detroit tomorrow.
New York was unable to pull off the upset against the Cavaliers last night and now move down into the eighth-worst record. The Knicks will draw Cleveland again tomorrow to end their injury plagued season.
We are winding down to our final episodes of the ping-pong chronicles sadly. The Hawks wrap up their rough season tonight and we will find out more about their tiebreaker situation tomorrow. As always, stay tuned for tomorrow’s update to the Hawks Ping-Pong Chronicles!