Atlanta Hawks Draft Lottery Odds Guide, Locked into 5th-Best Odds

Actress, Jami Gertz represents the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Actress, Jami Gertz represents the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick preview of what to expect for the Atlanta Hawks in May’s NBA Draft Lottery.

The Atlanta Hawks came into the season surrounded with low expectations for wins, and high expectations for draft picks.

However, with their young roster playing better than expected, especially down the stretch, this Hawks team played themselves out of the best lottery odds. In fact, according to The Action Network, they are the only team in the bottom spectrum of teams that are comfortably over the Over/under win total that were set at the season’s start.

They didn’t fall too far although. With the Mavericks win on Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Hawks found themselves locked into the 5th spot, unable to move regardless of their final two outcomes.

With the new Lottery odds being implemented this season, that 5th slot is fairly deceiving, per Tankathon.

In what seems to make very little sense, the Hawks only have a 2.2% of actually getting the 5th overall pick, the 2nd-lowest probability of their possible selections. The worst pick the Hawks can get is the 9th. But there is only a 0.6% chance that the doomsday scenario takes place.

Actually, despite “clinching”  the 5th-worst record, the Atlanta Hawks most likely draft pick will be the 7th. There’s a 25.7% chance that Jami Gertz hears the team’s name called in that spot on May 14th, and a 19.6% chance for the 6th.

This doesn’t seem great, considering this draft is considered to be top-heavy rather than deep, but the top 4 odds are good to keep in mind.

Atlanta will have nearly identical odds at each of the top 4 selections in the draft (10.5, 10.5, 10.6, 10.5) which together make up a 42.1% chance for a top 4 pick. Added with the 2.2% chance of landing in the 5-hole, it’s nearly 50-50 if they’ll get a top 5 or not.

This is where the change in the lottery odds come in to play. The 5th-seeded Hawks only dip 3.5% under the Knicks‘ (locked into worst record getting 14%) chances to win the lottery.

Just last summer the Hawks would have had a 0.88% chance at the top pick with the Knicks getting a hefty 25%. The Hawks’ chances for a top-4 pick at all would have been 11.85%, 30% less than now.

Needless to say, the Atlanta Hawks picked a good time to tank:

This new lottery system does have a downside for the Hawks this season, however, as they hold the Mavericks’ pick that is protected 1-5.

Dallas is currently tied with Memphis for the 7th-best odds and have two games left on the year. As this is written, there is currently a 71% chance the pick conveys to Atlanta, but the highest pick possible for the Hawks would be 8th. Obviously the best-case scenario is the Hawks getting the 6th pick out of this, but there is currently a 0% chance of that.

Both the Grizzlies and Mavs’ play twice each in the final two games ( Dallas: vs. Phoenix, @ San Antonio, Memphis: @Detroit, vs. Golden State) and can move around more than expected even leap frog the Wizards for 6th with a pair of losses, or up over the Pelicans for 9th.

In a few days we’ll see the Hawks’ chances of getting that Dallas pick, but for now they can rest easy knowing their own lottery slot is already settled.

Next. 13 Players Hawks Could Select in 2019 NBA Draft. dark

Ultimately it turned out to be a pretty good season for Atlanta Hawks fans, as they were able to watch their team play better than expected while still retaining respectable lottery placement that takes advantage of the new odds.