Trail Blazers spiraling toward potentially better odds in 2024 NBA Draft Lottery


Dalano Banton (5) of the Portland Trail Blazers drives on Franz Wagner (22) of the Orlando Magic at Kia Center on Monday, April 1, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/TNS) TNSTNS

The Portland Trail Blazers have had their grips firmly around the designation of owning the fifth-worst record in the NBA for some time now.

However, thanks to their current 10-game losing streak, the Blazers find themselves in the position to potentially secure the third-worst record, thus increasing their odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft when the lottery is held on May 12.

The Blazers enter Wednesday with the fifth-worst record in the NBA at 19-56. They sit a game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets (18-57) and the San Antonio Spurs (18-57), who are tied for the third-worst record in the NBA.

The Hornets host the Blazers at 4 p.m. Wednesday night. The Spurs play Tuesday night at the Denver Nuggets (52-23).

The Blazers began the season with the stated goal of valuing the developing young talent and chemistry over winning. Injuries to most of the team’s key players have led to Blazers coach Chauncey Billups starting rookie-laden lineups resulting in some ugly losses.

But those losses come with value.

Portland has been in 14th place in the Western Conference ahead of the San Antonio Spurs since falling to 6-18 on Dec. 16, 2023. The rapid evolution of Spurs’ rookie Victor Wembanyama has led to the Spurs winning four out of their last eight games, including three of their last five. The Blazers, meanwhile, have lost 10 consecutive games, their longest losing streak of the season.

That run has placed the Blazers in position to fall below the Spurs.

Over in the East, the last-place Detroit Pistons (13-62) and the 14th-place Washington Wizards (14-61) wage a battle for the worst record in the NBA. Unless both or one of the two experience an amazing winning streak to close the season, they will finish 30th and 29th overall, respectively.

The Hornets own 13th place in the East. They are tied with the Spurs for the third-worst record in the league one game behind the Blazers.

All three teams have seven games remaining.

The payoff for finishing with the third-worst record versus the fifth is not insignificant. The team with the third-worst record would share the same odds of landing the top pick (14%) as teams at 29th and 30th.

The team with the fourth-worst record would have a 12.5% chance and the team with the fifth-worst record, where the Blazers sit now, would have a 10.5% chance.

In a draft that most consider relatively weak, picking third versus fifth could make all the difference.


Team 1: 14.0%

Team 2: 14.0%

Team 3: 14.0%

Team 4: 12.5%

Team 5: 10.5%

Team 6: 9.0%

Team 7: 7.5%

Team 8: 6.0%

Team 9: 4.5%

Team 10: 3.0%

Team 11: 2.0%

Team 12: 1.5%

Team 13: 1.0%

Team 14: 0.5%

Team 4: 12.5%

Team 5: 10.5%

-- Aaron Fentress | | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook)


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