Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday that Sacramento won a coin flip tiebreaker with New Orleans in the NBA Draft Lottery, earning the 12th-best odds for the No. 1 pick. This means that the Kings have a 1.3% chance of selecting first overall.
Sources: 2020 NBA Draft Lottery tiebreaker winners:
New Orleans/Sacramento (28-36): Sacramento
Houston/OKC/Utah (44-28): OKC, then Houston, then Utah
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 17, 2020
The Kings actually finished one game ahead of the Pelicans after beating them twice during the NBA restart. However, the standings for the lottery were frozen prior to the restart because the majority of the lottery teams were not invited to Orlando to participate in the seeding games, and it didn’t make sense to allow teams to tank in the bubble. Therefore, even though Sacramento finished 12th in the West, it is their 11th-place standing from March that matters.
The NBA Draft Lottery will be held virtually this Thursday, August 20. The last time the Kings sent a representative to the draft lottery was in 2018, because they owed their pick to Philadelphia last season. They sent De’Aaron Fox as the team representative and jumped up in the draft to the second overall pick, which, you know, could have gone better.
Fox would be a good choice to try to recapture some of that luck, especially since Sacramento has a dwindling number of front office representatives to “send” this time around. It is unclear what this remote lottery will look like, but one of the great joys of the NBA offseason is watching team executives attempt to control their emotions at the revealing of ping pong balls. Here’s hoping the league figures out a way to capture that experience virtually.