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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Taking a Look at Draft Scenarios as of April 14th

Upon request, here is an updated look at the draft scenarios with two games left in the season (do note that they look a lot worse for the Knicks than they did Saturday morning).

The Miami Heat (14-65) are locked into the #1 position for the lottery, so they will have the best chance (25%) at winning the #1 pick in the lottery, and the worst they will pick is #4.

The Seattle Supersonics (18-62), as a result of the Timberwolves win on Saturday, are now officially locked into the #2 position in the draft, giving them a 19.9% chance of receiving the #1 pick in the draft.

After beating the Grizzlies on Saturday, the Timberwolves are now only one game worse than the Grizzlies (Timberwolves are 21-59, the Grizzlies are 22-58). If the Grizzlies lose out and the Timberwolves win one of their remaining two games, the Grizzlies could force a tie for third pick in the draft. It is unlikely that Minnesota will win either of their last two games, but it is certainly a possibility.

In fact, there is an extremely outside chance that the Timberwolves could end up in a four-way tie for third place.

This is because the Knicks and the Fantabulous Los Angeles Tankers are both 23-57. If the Knicks and the Tankers lose their last two games and the Timberwolves manage to win both their last two games, and the Grizzlies split their last two games, they would all be tied at 23-59.

Exceptionally unlikely, but still technically possible.

Here are each team’s remaining schedules:

Minnesota
Tue, Apr 15 at Detroit
Wed, Apr 16 Milwaukee

Memphis
Tue, Apr 15 at Portland
Wed, Apr 16 at Denver

New York
Mon, Apr 14 Boston
Wed, Apr 16 at Indiana

Los Angeles
Tue, Apr 15 at New Orleans
Wed, Apr 16 at Houston

All four teams should have no problem losing their last games, especially Los Angeles, who is playing two teams who still need to win (note that both Denver and Indiana, who play the Grizzlies and Knicks, respectively, may still need to win the last game of the season, but it is doubtful).

The Timberwolves play the Pistons, who might wish to assure themselves home court if they make it to the NBA Finals, but as we saw when they played the Knicks recently, they seem to be in total cruise control mode right now, so perhaps that game will be close. And the Milwaukee game will be tough to lose, as Milwauke is terrible.

Okay, so let’s run the scenarios!

IF EVERYTHING STAYS THE SAME

3rd – Minnesota (15.6% chance of nailing the #1 pick)
4th – Memphis (11.9% chance)
5th – tie between Knicks and Los Angeles (each will have a 7.5% chance), with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #5 and which team will be #6, which is a pretty big thing to be decided by a random drawing.

TIE FOR THIRD
3rd – tie between Minnesota and Memphis (there will be a random drawing, and one will have a 13.8% chance and the other will have a 13.7% chance), with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #3 and which team will be #4.
5th – tie between Knicks and Los Angeles (each will have a 7.5% chance), with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #5 and which team will be #6, which is a pretty big thing to be decided by a random drawing.

* Note that for the tie for third, it possibly could theoretically be between Minnesota and either the Knicks or Tankers, if the Timberwolves and Grizzlies both win out, and if the Knicks lose out and the Tankers split (or if the Tankers lose out and the Knicks split).

THREE-WAY TIE FOR THIRD
3rd – tie between Minnesota, Memphis and either New York or LA (each will have 12.1% chance), with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #3, which team will be #4 and which team will be #6.
6th – Knicks or Los Angeles (6.4% chance)

*Note that for the three-way tie for third, it possibly could be between Minnesota, New York and Los Angeles, if the Timberwolves and Grizzlies both win out and the Knicks and Clippers both lose out.

FOUR-WAY TIE FOR THIRD
3rd – tie between Minnesota, Memphis, New York and LA (there will be a random drawing, and two will have a 10.7% chance and the other two will have a 10.6% chance), with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #3, which team will be #4, which team will be #5 and which team will be #6.

IF THERE ARE NO TIES
3rd – Minnesota (15.6% chance)
4th – Memphis (11.9% chance)
5th – New York or Los Angeles (8.8% chance)
6th – New York or Los Angeles (6.3% chance)

BEST CASE SCENARIO (which has almost zero percent chance of happening)
The Knicks end up in a tie for third with the Timberwolves. There’d be a random drawing, and one will have a 13.8% chance and the other will have a 13.7% chance, with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #3 and which team will be #4.

WORST CASE SCENARIO (which is unlikely)
The Knicks finish 6th, with a 6.3% chance of winning the first pick.

These last two days could be quite ugly.

37 comments on “Taking a Look at Draft Scenarios as of April 14th

  1. Alec

    I think we’ll get the 6th pick, but when the lottery comes around we’ll get like the 8 pick. This is because God hates me so much, he wouldn’t allow me to have any pleasure in life and therefore we can’t get the 6th pick.

  2. caleb

    Speaking of the draft… I’m looking forward to the articles that use statistical results from college, to predict NBA performance… the formulas seem to have just gotten to the point of being useful.

    An interesting footnote… a lot of the stats-heads though Nick Fazekas was way undervalued on draft day. Dallas snagged him in the second round. He’s barely played, but Dave Berri & Erich Doerr pointed out recently that in the 216 minutes Fazekas HAS played, he’s performed at superstar level – better than any rookie in the NBA.

    They include all the appropriate caveats: miniscule sample, doesn’t mean he’s the best rookie, could be all garbage time, yada yada. Still.

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/

  3. dave crockett

    Thanks for the update Brian.

    I’ll definitely roll through that post on Fazekas, because he was one of those players I was interested in seeing perform. Thanks for throwing that up Caleb.

    Good call also on Bayless coming out, though I’ll say that the thing that intrigues me is how his stock just never wavered from 3-7 even though his performance fizzled as the season progressed. After he went for 30+ in three straight games teams started throwing a lot of gimmicks at him, got far more physical with him, and did a much better job of forcing him left. Not surprisingly, his play suffered. (By contrast, I thought Mayo suffered far more from having an up and down year.)

  4. Dan-O

    “5th – tie between Knicks and Los Angeles (each will have a 7.5% chance), with a random drawing held after the end of the season to determine which team will be #5 and which team will be #6, which is a pretty big thing to be decided by a random drawing.”

    This is incorrect. If the Knicks and Clips end up tied for 5th/6th, the two spots’ lottery combinations are combined and split between the teams. In this case, it’s 151 combinations, so there would be a random drawing, but only for the one left-over combo.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_Draft_Lottery#Process

    This happened with the Knicks a couple years ago.

  5. Brian Cronin

    Oh yeah, Dan-O, I wrote 7.5% chance in the first look at draft possibilities, when I figured no one would really care about the minutiae of one team getting 7.5% and the other team getting 7.6% chance, but then for this one, I thought, “I dunno, Brian, people are pretty anal about minor details, so you should probably point out the extremely minor details that really don’t matter,” so I did so for the new calculations – the 13.8/13.7 and the 10.7/10.6 ones, but forgot to go back and do the same for the 7.5% one.

    So thanks for pointing it out!

  6. IMissBernardKing

    well the Knicks seem intent on beating the Celtics (resting all their starters tonight) so we are looking at getting the 6th pick.

    Worst season in history and we end up with (most likely) the 6th pick. These guys cant even lose properly.

  7. Brian Cronin

    I think the Larry Brown team was worse, that season just had the allure of a promising next season, something missing this time around.

    But yeah, if the Knicks win this game, I will be unbelievably pissed off.

  8. jon abbey

    actually, Dan-O, Brian is correct, just a bit unclear.

    there are two things under discussion simultaneously, the number of lottery combos and the final positioning. if two teams have the same record and neither end up in the top three spots, their draft order is indeed chosen by a random drawing.

  9. Brian Cronin

    The Knicks actually called a 20 second time-out with 4 seconds left to set up one final shot of the half.

    Isiah is trying harder to win this game than he did with the games earlier in the season!!!

  10. Brian Cronin

    actually, Dan-O, Brian is correct, just a bit unclear.

    Right, I didn’t add the 7.5/7.6 distinction, like I did with the other teams.

  11. Brian Cronin

    Luckily, even Boston’s bench players are good enough to cut the lead to 5 at the break.

  12. ari

    note – only 1 team in history got the number one all around pick with a lottery slot as low as 6 – the nets in 2000…..so one can’t reiterate how important it is that knicks lose the last two games and hope the Clips win once.

  13. Brian Cronin

    And where was Orlando when they won Chris Webber?

    They were in an entirely different lottery system, which was changed specifically because they won the lottery. ;)

  14. Ray

    This all depends on Donnies draft strategy. He could go with the best players on the board strategy or he could go with the draft what you need strategy. At 6th we may still be able to get what we need unless the teams before us take all the elite guards. Lets say we get the 3rd pick. I dont know who i would take because we all know Beasley and Rose will be gone. My next pick would be Mayo instead of Lopez b/c im not too sure about Lopez. He doesnt rebound so that makes me question his toughness. Rebounding is dirty work and requires effort. If hes not commited to that then what would we get out of him? I think what we need is an additional 1st rounder so that we might have a shot at Thabeet if he comes out or McGhee who can block some shots or even Jordan…who know how this will all work out. I think we are in a good place though.

  15. Brian Cronin

    He is not. Mayo is a fine player. He may not directly fit the Knicks’ needs like Rose does, but he’s far from a bad pick at #6. I just doubt he’ll be there at #6.

    By the by, did you all know that even if the Knicks are in the 6th position (which hopefully they will not be), they’d still have about an 11% chance at getting #1 or #2?

  16. caleb

    I dunno Brian, he looks like a low-efficiency scorer who plays D but can’t play the point. I agree he probably won’t be there at #6!

  17. Ess-dog

    I can’t believe there’s resistance to taking Beasley if we get the #1! He is obviously the best player and a potential all-star. Sure Rose fills a need better, but he’s no Chris Paul.
    I don’t think we need to panic yet. We should try to mend the Zeke damage a little and just play Marbury next year. I think it was obvious how much better he was than Nate/Jones/Crawford at running the point. Even if we end up drafting a point, I’d like to move Steph to off guard b/c he actually plays D unlike Crawford. Crawford should not start.
    Curry should be traded and Lee is a back up. The high percentage shooting is a bit of a misnomer. Lee and Curry are never taking outside shots much less “high-pressure” shots like an Iverson, Kobe or Duncan are expected to take.
    Curry can post up, but he can’t deal w/ the double team and can’t pass out of it. And worst of all his D is laughable.
    Lee’s a solid player, but cmon, he has no offensive moves, and his D on the better PF’s is mediocre at best. He’s a glue guy. A sixth or seventh man.
    Zach at least has an offensive game where he can score and pass out of the post. He has an above average shot, he just takes too many bad shots. He boards. Sure his D sucks, but if we surround him with great D, it could work out. The worst thing about Zach is his awful contract, but we have to up his value before even thinking about moving him. We have some time to do this.
    We can trade Marbury’s expiring contract during the season if we want, or just let him go. If you think Indy will trade their all-star center for starbury, you are crazy. The cap space is more worthwhile. If we could trade Q, Jeffries, Crawford, and Curry that would be worth doing this year, but who wants them? Maybe we could move Crawford or Nate.
    If Mayo is there at 5 or 6, it will be hard for NYK’s to pass him up. I’m not for or against, i just don’t see Dolan passing on that kind of marketing opportunity.

  18. Brian Cronin

    I dunno Brian, he looks like a low-efficiency scorer who plays D but can’t play the point. I agree he probably won’t be there at #6!

    “low-efficiency scorer who plays D” is accurate, but when you boil a player down to a sentence like that, it does not give a fair assessment of the player.

    To wit, Steve Nash – “Passes well, plays no D.” Not exactly getting the full picture there, right? :)

    In any event, while you’re probably right about him not being able to play the point, I think he’ll basically be a taller AI who can defend. And while that might not fit the Knicks’ needs particularly well, it’s also a very good NBA player.

    Lopez and Mayo might have looked similar in high school, but Mayo looked just as good in the NCAA, while Lopez, well, did not. ;)

  19. Kikuchiyo

    Who says that Jared Jeffries isn’t a team player? Faced with a choice between illustrating his immense value for next season and laying an egg to help our draft selection, Jeffries nicely chose teamwork over individual glory.

    Here is his line tonight:

    0-3, 1 rebound, 1 asst, 1 block, 3 TOs, no fouls, and 0 pts in 24 minutes.

    Superb decision, Jared.

  20. daaarn

    I’m betting we’ll get the 6th best chance and end up w/ an even worse pick. Either way, we’re not likely to get a superstar-potential player like a Beasley or Rose. Personally, I’m hoping for a legit 1-guard, but Rose’ll be long gone and I’m not really sure about Bayless (and I’m just scared of Mayo).

  21. Capt. Merlin

    I personally see Beasley as being v.2.0 of Derrick Coleman, though I’m not totally sure why, something about him just cries that out. Rose on the other hand will be a stud, no doubt. At #6 I see there being the same sort of players available as in the later lottery, so why not trade down?

  22. Brian Cronin

    If the Knicks have #6, I’m totally down with trading down if it means also getting rid of Zach Randolph.

  23. nj hoop

    Agree with Brian Cronin, we need to get Rose at almost any cost. If Minn. gets #2, they already have Foye, so maybe we could work out a deal with them to swap picks. Unfortunately, I don’t know what we have that would interest them, why would a young, rebuilding team want Zbo, then again, why would any team want him? At least I take some comfort in knowing that Walsh will be calling the shots and won’t do anything Isaiah-ish come draft day.

  24. knicky

    Keep ZBO! Trade Curry! Zak gives you 3 things- ‘bounds, post scoring(havent had that since LJ),med. range scoring. Curry gives you 1 thing-post scoring. I’d take my chances with Morris-at least he blocks a shot here and there and has scoring potential. Jeffries/balkman/chandler can all be good help defenders at the 3. Add Lee to the mix and you have defensive potential in the front court.The backcourt is the problem- the only one I’d keep is Collins because of his defensive mindset. And as we saw last season, if you play the kid his offense will come.

  25. IMissBernardKing

    looks like Isiah got the memo from Dolan with about 6 minutes left last night when he took David Lee out for Randolph Morris down by 2. Nice work Zeke.

  26. Brian Cronin

    Keep ZBO! Trade Curry! Zak gives you 3 things- ‘bounds, post scoring(havent had that since LJ),med. range scoring. Curry gives you 1 thing-post scoring.

    Wait, so Z-Bo gives you the first post scoring since LJ? Don’t you mean the first post scorer since Curry – last year?

    I don’t like either player, but Curry at least keeps his problems to himself, Z-Bo affects other players with his awfulness.

    I’d take my chances with Morris-at least he blocks a shot here and there and has scoring potential.

    I wouldn’t mind keeping him to see what he can do with some more minutes.

    Jeffries/balkman/chandler can all be good help defenders at the 3.

    But there’s the problem, right? Not counting Q, that’s three players for one position, and the best offensive player, Chandler, actually plays defense pretty well, too, so does he even really need a defensive back-up? Balkman, I like, of course, but Jeffries is basically useless.

    Add Lee to the mix and you have defensive potential in the front court.

    Lee is not much of a defender, but sure, Lee is good.

    The backcourt is the problem- the only one I’d keep is Collins because of his defensive mindset. And as we saw last season, if you play the kid his offense will come.

    Last season did not show us that – last season just showed us that if you play Collins starter’s minutes, he will eventually compile numbers resembling a good player – he’ll do so in a horribly inefficient way, but at least he’ll put up the counting numbers!!

  27. Ray

    Too many of you guys are afraid of Mayo….i think he’ll turn out all right. Hs still young give him time to grow and learn. He has a high B-ball IQ (whatever that means) and he plays D. Lets Steph run the point for the next year. Redeem himself. Mayo can learn from him and be our combo guard. Im telling you he will learn from the example set by Lebron and take a leadership role in due time. We maybe be able to get the next game changer at our draft position. So to me this draft is key. How we could have missed out on the last two #1′s is beyond me but as for this one we need to get great quality by making the right selection.

  28. Ray

    Oh and besides , with a name like Mayo think of all the fast food contracts he’ll get. They will have Mayo playing the Burger King guy in some basketball.

  29. W.C.

    I don’t like the idea of Mayo and Curry on the same team.

    I think there’s a risk Curry will eat Mayo or that people will confuse us with some fast food restaurant. ;-)

  30. cavjam

    The team needs to be blown up. The only sure keeps are Chandler, Collins and Balkman. Ya gotta love Lee’s heart, but he needs a shotblocker in the hole not to be a detriment on D.

    That said, and assuming the draft positions run true to form, I’d package N8 and the #1 for Seattle’s #1 and take Mayo. He’s smooth, poised, and 6’5″; seems a lock as an NBA starter if not a star. Beasley’s iffy to even be around in 3 years; Rose’ll probably be fine, but it’s hard to know how PG’s will transition to the pros.

    Crawford hurts this team as much as anyone – poor decisions + max playing time, I never got what Zeke was thinking here. Offer him and Q for Calderon, maybe Toronto’s office will have a brain fart and take it.

    I’d like to see a trade for a later first and get Hibbert. He can be that presence in the middle, has a lot of heart and intelligence, and I think his game’ll improve away from the Princeton offense. If not, a second rounder would be nice to take Dorsey. Either one would work well with Lee.

    Just cut Starflake; let him go play in Europe.

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