On Tuesday we see if the tanking was worth it, as the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and others sweat it out during the 2018 NBA draft lottery.
The lottery is scheduled to start around 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch it live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ESPN. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the lottery on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: ESPN is included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the lottery live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
There are a bevy of potentially elite players in this year’s draft: Arizona’s mountain of a center DeAndre Ayton. Euroleague superstar Luka Doncic. Duke’s frontcourt duo of Marvin Bagley and Wendell Carter Jr. Michael Porter Jr. Jaren Jackson Jr. Mo Bamba.
As such, you could make the argument that landing the No. 1 pick isn’t essential–anywhere in the Top 7, and you’re likely going to get a stud. But even so, getting a top pick gives you important flexibility. You can have your pick of the litter, or if there’s a player you like who you feel may slip, you can move down, acquire more assets, and still get who you want. We saw that as recently as last year when the Celtics targeted Jayson Tatum, moved down from No. 1 to No. 3 in a trade with Philadelphia, acquired a future first-round pick and still got their guy.
Speaking of which, that trade has significant implications on this year’s lottery. The Los Angeles Lakers’ pick is currently owned by the Sixers, but if they defy the odds and land in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot (the chances of that happening are less than three percent), that pick goes to Boston as part of last year’s deal. You know, because the Celtics, a team that is playing without two max players and is still three games away from the NBA finals, is definitely in need of another young superstar. If the Lakers land anywhere else, the Sixers–another team really struggling for young talent–will keep the pick.
Also of note in terms of pick trading: The Cleveland Cavaliers will get the Brooklyn Nets’ pick, which is expected to be No. 8, and the Los Angeles Clippers will get the Detroit Pistons’ pick, as long as the Pistons don’t jump into the Top 3 (2.5 percent chance of that happening).
And, of course, there’s the matter of the top pick. The Phoenix Suns have a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick, and the prospect of pairing Devin Booker with Doncic is incredibly intriguing. The Memphis Grizzlies (19.9 percent chance), Dallas Mavericks (13.8) and Atlanta Hawks (13.7) are also right in the mix.