When Is the NBA Draft Lottery? Date, How to Watch, Format and Odds Explained

The Conference Finals may be in full swing, but the NBA's attention will at least temporarily turn towards the draft tonight (June 22).

The annual selection process is still over a month away, but the identity of the team that will hold the first overall pick come July 29 will be revealed at the Draft Lottery drawing on Tuesday.

The 14 teams that have missed out on the NBA Playoffs this season will be involved in the lottery drawing process, which will determine the order of the first 14 picks in next month's draft.

Here's everything you need to know.

When is the NBA Draft Lottery?

The drawing process for the NBA Draft lottery is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The NBA Draft will take place at the end of next month on Thursday, July 29, with the free agency period scheduled to begin the following week.

How to watch the NBA Draft Lottery

The event will be broadcast by ESPN, with a live stream available via the WatchESPN app. The lottery drawing will be held before the beginning of the ESPN broadcast, which will cover the announcement of the order of the picks for the 2021 NBA Draft.

How does the NBA Draft lottery work?

The 14 teams that did not make the playoffs last season are included in the NBA Draft Lottery drawing, wit the teams with the worst regular season records all having the same chance of winning the Draft Lottery.

In practical terms, that means the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic all have a 14 percent chance of landing the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Before the NBA tweaked the process in 2019, the team with the worst record from the previous season had a 25 percent chance of winning the Draft Lottery, while the teams with the second- and third-worst records had a 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent chance respectively.

Prior to 2019, the team with the worst record was guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth, while it will now receive a pick no worse than fifth overall.

NBA Draft 2019
The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The 2021 NBA Draft Lottery will take place on June 22, with the NBA Draft scheduled for July 29. Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Fourteen ping-pong balls number 1 through 14 are placed in a lottery machine, before being mixed for 20 seconds.

As per the NBA: "There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams."

After the 20-second mix, the first ball is removed, while the remaining 13 balls are mixed for another 10 seconds, before a second ball is drawn.

Following another 10-second mix, a third ball is drawn. The remaining 11 balls are mixed again for 10 seconds before a fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination receives the No.1 overall pick, before the process is repeated for picks two through to four.

After the first four picks are confirmed, the remaining 10 lottery teams will continue to pick in inverse order of their regular season record.

NBA Draft Lottery 2021 odds

  • Houston Rockets > 14.00 percent
  • Detroit Pistons > 14.00 percent
  • Orlando Magic > 14.00 percent
  • Oklahoma City Thunder> 11.50 percent
  • Cleveland Cavaliers > 11.50 percent
  • Minnesota Timberwolves > 9.00 percent
  • Toronto Raptors> 7.50 percent
  • Chicago Bulls> 4.50 percent
  • Sacramento Kings> 4.50 percent
  • New Orleans Pelicans> 4.50 percent
  • Charlotte Hornets> 1.80 percent
  • San Antonio Spurs> 1.70 percent
  • Indiana Pacers> 1.00 percent
  • Golden State Warriors> 0.50 percent