Charlotte Hornets draft lottery odds: What are their chances at the #1 pick?

Adam Silver (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Adam Silver (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

It’s safe to say that the Charlotte Hornets’ season didn’t go according to plan. LaMelo Ball played in only 36 games due to various injuries, while last season’s leading scorer Mikal Bridges missed the entire year due to legal issues. That resulted in the Hornets dramatically underachieving expectations. While they did show signs of life late in the regular season, going 5-5 in their last 10 games, including two wins against the Mavericks that effectively ended their season, they still won just 27 games.

That was good enough (or bad enough) for the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Fortunately, their struggles could result in the Hornets selecting first overall in this year’s draft. With that being said, let’s examine the Hornets’ draft lottery odds.

Charlotte Hornets complete NBA Draft lottery odds

1st pick-12.5%

2nd pick-12.2%

3rd pick-11.9%

4th pick-11.5%

5th pick-7.2%

As you can see, the Hornets have fairly balanced odds of landing each of the top-five picks. While they don’t have a 52% chance of a top-four pick like the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs, they do have a 48.1% chance. That is obviously the best-case scenario, but what about the worst-case?

6th pick-25.7%

7th pick-16.8%

8th pick-2.2%

The goal for the Hornets is to end up with the fourth pick or better, and while they have almost a 50% chance of doing that, they actually have greater odds of having their pick be worse. Even then, that may be worth it for a decent shot at the number one pick. Charlotte has a 12.5% chance, which is far from a guarantee, but it’s nearly the same as the Pistons, Rockets, and Spurs, who each has 14% odds of the top pick.

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Overall, the Hornets’ draft position means that there is a lot of variance in terms of outcomes. A good night would have them moving up into the top three and being in a position to select a potential future all-star, while a bad night would see them drop in the draft order. There is a lot riding on the NBA draft lottery for the Hornets, and a little bit of luck could go a long way.