Trail Blazers magic number: How can they maximize lottery odds?

The Blazers are trying to maximize their shot at the number one overall pick.
Portland Trail Blazers, Scoot Henderson
Portland Trail Blazers, Scoot Henderson / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers are in year one of a rebuild. They traded Damian Lillard before the season and are trying to figure out their next core. Portland has young talent but must develop it. They drafted Scoot Henderson third overall in 2023. Some young players are stepping up, but the franchise needs time to get back into the playoff hunt.

The Blazers have won just two of their last 14 games. They are playing young players and trying to give them valuable reps. Injuries have played a factor, but Portland has work to do. They need more talent and to shed some of their veterans on bad contracts this summer.

Over the final three regular season games, the Trail Blazers should be all-in on maximizing their lottery odds. There is plenty of uncertainty in this draft, but Portland wants the top pick and has two potential lottery selections. Here is a look at their current odds and if they can improve them before the end of the regular season.

Portland Trail Blazers current lottery odds

The Blazers have the fifth-worst record in the NBA on the morning of April 10. They will be in the lottery and must maximize their ping pong balls. Portland also holds the Warriors first-round pick with a top-four protection. Golden State will be in the Play-In Tournament but owes a lottery pick to the Blazers if they fail to reach the playoffs and move up in the lottery. 

  • Odds to win the draft lottery: 10.5 percent
  • Chance of finishing second in draft lottery: 10.5 percent
  • Odds Blazers get third overall pick: 10.6 percent
  • Blazers' odds of selecting fourth: 10.5 percent
  • Odds of picking fifth: 2.2 percent
  • Odds Blazers fall to sixth in the lottery: 19.6 percent
  • Odds to select seventh: 26.7 percent
  • Odds to fall to eight: 8.7 percent

Portland has a less than one percent chance to finish with the ninth selection. Their odds of selecting in the top three are 31.6 percent and their chances of moving into the top four sit at 42.1 percent.

They will get the Warriors selection at 13th or 14th overall unless Golden State moves up in the standings over the final days of the regular season. The Warriors have a 4.7 percent of moving up into the top four and keeping their selection.

How can the Blazers improve lottery odds?

Portland has locked up one of the five worst records in the NBA this season. They are one game better than the Spurs, who are last in the Western Conference. The Blazers can move up by tying or passing the Spurs and/or Hornets in the standings. Charlotte is two games up with three contests left to play. They are just one back of San Antonio, and the Spurs have won five of their last ten to make it a race.

If they get to the fourth-worst record, Portland’s odds improve as follows.

  • Odds to select first overall: 12.5 percent
  • Chances of getting the second pick: 12.2 percent
  • Odds of moving up to number three: 11.5 percent
  • Chances of selecting in the top four: 48.1 percent
  • Guaranteed to pick in the top eight

The Trail Blazers must lose their remaining games and get some help if they want to increase their lottery odds. It won’t be easy.

Blazers' current 2024 NBA Draft picks

The Blazers currently have these four picks in this year’s draft.

  • 5th overall pick (1st round)
  • 13th overall pick (via Golden State Warriors)
  • 33rd overall pick (via Charlotte Hornets)
  • 40th overall pick (via Atlanta Hawks)

The 2024 NBA Draft will be a massive night for the Portland Trail Blazers and their rebuild. Can they add a game-changing talent? Stay tuned to find out.