The Toronto Raptors are one of many teams that are paying more interest to the upcoming NBA Draft than the current postseason picture, as they were smacked out of the postseason in an embarrassing fashion. Their most immediate area of recourse with regard to improving this team is the draft.
Toronto’s future may end up in the hands of a few ping pong balls, as they need to hope that Lady Luck smiles upon them once again and delivers them a player who can come right in and be the type of stalwart that turns them into a championship contender once more.
After moving up from No. 7 overall to No. 4 overall in 2021, which helped them land Scottie Barnes, this fanbase was given a crash course in how valuable the lottery can be for rebuilding teams. Will history repeat itself for them this season, or will someone else move up?
How does the NBA Draft Lottery work?
The draft lottery gives teams who missed the playoffs the chance to move up in the NBA Draft order. The percent chances of “winning” the lottery and getting the No. 1 pick (i.e. 14.0% for the Pistons) is determined by regular season record, with the three worst teams getting the best shot at being drawn.
The actual overseen drawing will take place before the televised event. Four balls will be drawn, determining which teams will pick in the top four. Spots No. 5-14 will be determined by inverse regular season record.
Toronto Raptors odds of getting No. 1 pick?
The Raptors have just a 1% chance of landing Wembanyama in the draft, and a 4.7% chance of grabbing one of the top four selections in the draft order. They will likely be fixed in at No. 13 overall, as they have just a 2.3% chance of falling past the New Orleans Pelicans to No. 14 overall.
Toronto’s best draft options include Kentucky’s Cason Wallace, Michigan’s Jett Howard, or Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr. The Raptors weren’t bad enough to put themselves in the Wembanyama sweepstakes, but they can still add a high-end target later in the first.