Victor Wembanyama in OKC? The Thunder has a longshot chance in NBA lottery
Thunder fans can approach the NBA Draft Lottery like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber.
“So you’re telling me there’s a chance …”
The Jim Carrey line, immortalized in the GIF hall of fame, has never been more applicable.
Yes, I’m telling you the Thunder has a chance. A 1.7% chance in the Tuesday night lottery to land the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. And everyone from Poteau to Paris knows the prize: 7-foot-4 Frenchman Victor Wembanyama — the most hyped prospect since LeBron James was drafted 20 years ago.
OKC will most likely get the No. 12 pick. The chances of that are a robust 85.2%.
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But a 1.7% chance at No. 1? It’s better than nothing.
It’s equivalent to betting on a 59/1 longshot to win, which is exactly what a horse named Lord Miles did a month ago in the Wood Memorial, a Kentucky Derby qualifying race. A $2 win bet on Lord Miles paid out $120.
The Thunder landing the No. 1 pick is a lot more likely to happen than getting struck by lightning in your lifetime (one in 15,300 people). Or finding a four-leaf clover (one in 10,000 clovers). Or even being ambidextrous (one in 100 people).
For a more relevant example, look no further than the 2008 Bulls or the 2014 Cavaliers. Both teams won the lottery with the same 1.7% chance the Thunder has on Tuesday.
The Bulls drafted a future MVP in Derrick Rose, and the Cavaliers drafted Andrew Wiggins, whom they traded to the Timberwolves in a blockbuster deal that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland.
A frontcourt of Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren in Oklahoma City?
There’s a chance. A 1.7% chance, to be exact.
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2023 NBA Draft Lottery
7 p.m. Tuesday in Chicago (ESPN)
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How the NBA Draft Lottery works
The lottery decides the order of the first four picks in the draft, with the rest of the teams slotted in inverse order of their regular season record.
The Thunder has an 8% chance at a top-four pick and a 92% chance to draft from 12 to 14. OKC cannot be slotted anywhere from fifth to 11th.
The lottery is conducted just before ESPN’s broadcast. League officials, select media members and team representatives are in the room along with employees from accounting firm Ernst & Young, which oversees the lottery.
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Thunder’s draft lottery odds per pick
No. 1: 1.7%
No. 2: 1.9%
No. 3: 2.1%
No. 4: 2.4%
No. 12: 85.2%
No. 13: 6.7%
No. 14: 0.1%
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Chances for No. 1 NBA draft pick
San Antonio: 14%
Oklahoma City: 1.7%
New Orleans: 0.5%
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Victor Wembanyama in OKC? Thunder has a longshot chance in NBA lottery