THE order of selections for the 2022 NBA Draft will be known on Tuesday, when the league conducts the lottery in Chicago.
The Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons all have a 14% chance to draft No. 1 in this year’s draft on June 23.
All three teams are guaranteed a top-five pick in the draft under the revised lottery rules put in place to guard against tanking.
Houston posted the league’s worst regular-season record (20-62), behind Orlando (22-60) and Detroit (23-59). The Pistons selected Cade Cunningham No. 1 in 2021.
Oklahoma City had 24 wins last season, netting the Thunder a 12% chance of taking the grand prize in the lottery on Tuesday.
“I think you’re going to see improvement this year and I think our big move is after this coming year,” Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said of his club’s ongoing rebuild.
Regular-season records determined the order of selections 15-30. The lottery system identifies the teams selecting in the top 14.
Houston, which selected Jalen Green No. 2 in 2021, also holds the No. 17 pick via trade from the Brooklyn Nets in next month’s draft.
Green and Cunningham appear to be building blocks based on stellar rookie seasons. Cunningham backs Duke forward Paolo Banchero as the No. 1 pick, but he isn’t a consensus top selection just yet. Auburn forward Jabari Smith and Gonzaga 7-footer Chet Holmgren are among the other prospects positioning to be the first player off the board.
Orlando fell to No. 5 in the 2021 lottery despite a 14% chance to get the top pick. The Magic selected Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga) with their first lottery pick since 2018.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) draft combine is also in Chicago this week before the June 1 deadline for players to pull out of consideration and return to college. — Reuters