How the National Basketball Association draft lottery affects the Thunder

Zion Williamson Ja Morant

Enlarge Image Zion Williamson Ja Morant Getty Images

While a year ago there was a bit of attention on the NBA Draft Lottery and the draft itself due to Cleveland owning the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick, the lottery, and the draft were put on the backburner when it came to what was happening on the court.

The consensus leading into Tuesday's lottery is the top three picks will be Williamson, Morant and Barrett. Every team would be thrilled to win the right to take the big man, who is one of the best prospects to come along in years.

The NBA Scouting Combine is coinciding with the lottery this week, where assistant general manager Mike Gansey is getting a closer look at some of these prospects. It seems more likely the team can improve in free agency and with a mid-first round pick. The ripple effect from this change boosted the chances for teams in the middle of the lottery, like the New Orleans Pelicans. The Cavs had the second-worst record in the league at 19-63.

The Cavaliers are tied with the Knicks and Suns for the best odds at winning the No. 1 pick at 14 percent. The fourth-worst team can fall as far as No. 8, but on average that pick lands around No. 4 or 5.

You could forgive Wolves fans if they're a little cynical about the chances of jumping six spots or more because the Wolves have never moved up even one spot in the lottery in their history. After those picks, the remaining teams were ordered in the inverse of their regular season records. That would be the worst-case scenario for Boston, and would be a disappointing conclusion to the Markelle Fultz-Jayson Tatum trade.

When did the lottery begin?

But as we enter Tuesday night's lotto, ESPN has released their updated 2019 NBA Mock Draft predicting where each player will go as the draft order now stands.

How can I watch the NBA Draft Lottery?

While the OKC Thunder aren't among the lottery squads who lands the top picks does affect the team.

Duke forward Zion Williamson rampaged through college basketball this season.

Going into this year, Little was the UNC player that had the highest ceiling and was mocked to go in the Top 3.

Seismic activity on the moon detected
Hamilton wants Mercedes to be 'most successful' amid Ferrari talk