An update on where things stand as the NBA postseason begins this week
The 2020-21 NBA regular season came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday and with it, a clear pre-lottery-drawing picture has emerged in the race for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, prompting us to hit the reset with a new-look mock.
Three teams will enter lottery night tied for the best odds to win the No. 1 pick at 14 percent % — the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers tied with 22 wins on the regular season, meaning their odds will be shared at 11.5%. A random drawing will be held before the lottery to break that tie and the other lottery tie between the New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls.
Of the teams at the top, Houston is in the best position after posting the NBA’s lowest win total, as its pick cannot fall lower than five. The 17-win Rockets have a 52.1% chance of landing a top-four pick in this draft and thus landing one of the five consensus blue-chippers among Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley and Jonathan Kuminga. But the Rockets also face potential disaster.