From a mathematical perspective, the Atlanta Hawks were actually unlucky in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. The franchise entered the night with a 42 percent chance to secure a top-four pick and, while the Hawks were able to garner the No. 10 pick (that eventually became Cam Reddish) from the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta had only an 8.8 percent chance to slide all the way to No. 8 overall with their own selection. From there, Travis Schlenk and company elected to package the No. 8 pick, along with a collection of other assets, to slide up to No. 4 overall to take De’Andre Hunter but, from a lottery-only standpoint, May 14, 2019 wasn’t an overwhelmingly lucky night for the Hawks.
Fast-forward to 2020, and the Hawks are again keeping a (very) close eye on how the ping-pong balls will bounce on Thursday, Aug. 20. This time around, Atlanta actually enters with (slightly) better odds across the board but, unlike in 2019, there isn’t a secondary consideration — i.e. the Mavs pick — to monitor on lottery night. It comes down to the Hawks’ own pick, and the team enters the evening with the fourth-best odds in the lottery, meaning Atlanta can’t slide any lower than No. 8 overall.
Here are the simple odds, by slot, of where Atlanta’s lottery pick will land when the ping-pong balls finish bouncing.
- No. 1 pick - 12.5 percent
- No. 2 pick - 12.23 percent
- No. 3 pick - 11.89 percent
- No. 4 pick - 11.46 percent
- No. 5 pick - 7.24 percent
- No. 6 pick - 25.74 percent
- No. 7 pick - 16.74 percent
- No. 8 pick - 2.19 percent
In the interest of clarity, the combined odds for Atlanta’s pick are here, broken down by cumulative draft slot.
- Top 2 pick - 24.73 percent
- Top 3 pick - 36.62 percent
- Top 4 pick - 48.08 percent
- Top 5 pick - 55.32 percent
- Top 6 pick - 81.06 percent
- Top 7 pick - 97.81 percent
- Top 8 pick - 100 percent
Here are some more specific probabilities on the Hawks’ pick, broken down by range.
- No. 2 or No. 3 pick - 24.12 percent
- No. 2 through No. 4 pick - 35.58 percent
- No. 2 through No. 5 pick - 42.83 percent
- No. 3 or No. 4 pick - 23.35 percent
- No. 3 through No. 5 pick - 30.6 percent
- No. 4 or No. 5 pick - 18.71 percent
- No. 5 pick or worse - 51.92 percent
- No. 6 pick or worse - 44.68 percent
- No. 7 pick or worse - 18.94 percent