When is the NBA Draft Lottery? Date, time, odds, how to watch

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

With the end of the 2022-23 NBA season approaching and the final standings coming into clearer focus, it’s time to start looking ahead to this summer’s draft.

Before the draft, however, comes the lottery. The year-long race to Victor Wembanyama will officially be decided that night, as whichever team lands the No. 1 overall pick is sure to take perhaps the best prospect to enter the league in almost two decades.

But when, exactly, will we know where Wemby will land? When is the lottery, what are the current odds for the league’s bottom-dwellers to earn that coveted No. 1 pick, and how can fans – especially those whose teams have some of the best odds – hit the edges of their respective seats and watch the drama unfold?

Current odds, where, when, and how to watch the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery

The lottery takes place later in the playoffs when the eyes of the sports world begin to drift toward the NBA.

This season, the NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Tuesday, May 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. That’s one month after the postseason begins and 16 days before Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

About the lottery:

  • The draft lottery sets the order for the first 14 picks of the NBA draft.
  • Per NBA.com: “Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.”
  • After a rule change that went into effect in 2019, the three teams with the worst record in the NBA each have an equal 14 percent chance of earning the first overall pick. The rest of the odds for the No. 1 selection are as follows:
    • Team 4: 12.5 percent
      Team 5: 10.5 percent
      Team 6: 9.0 percent
      Team 7: 7.5 percent
      Team 8: 4.5 percent
      Team 9: 4.5 percent
      Team 10: 4.5 percent
      Team 11: 1.8 percent
      Team 12: 1.7 percent
      Team 13: 1.0 percent
      Team 14: 0.5 percent

The 2023 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 22.

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