In just a few days, the Heat will learn its position in the first round of the June 20 NBA Draft.
On Tuesday night, the 2019 NBA Draft lottery will take place at the Hilton Chicago to determine the first-round draft order of the 14 non-playoff teams during a week in Chicago that also includes the NBA draft combine. The lottery results will be unveiled at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN.
The draft lottery and how it works can be confusing, plus the format is a little different this year. So here are five questions that you’re probably asking yourself about the lottery, with answers …
How does the draft lottery actually work? Didn’t the NBA change the format this year?
A: Yes, the format is different this year. In the previous system, the league’s worst team had a 25 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick. The second-worst team had a 19.9 percent chance and the third-worst team had a 15.6 percent chance.
But to discourage teams from tanking, the new system levels the odds at the top of the draft lottery. The teams with the three worst records have a 14 percent chance apiece of winning the lottery. The odds for the other 11 teams in the 14-team lottery are reduced gradually after the top three.
Also, under the pre-2019 format, the league’s worst team would pick no lower than fourth because the first three picks were the only ones determined by the lottery, and the remaining lottery teams would pick in inverse order of their records. Under the new system, the league’s worst team will pick no lower than fifth since now the first four picks are decided by the lottery draw. The other lottery teams will continue to pick in inverse order of their records.
So what are the Heat’s chances of coming out of the lottery with a top-four pick in this year’s draft?
A: Not great. Since the Heat, Hornets and Kings each finished with a 39-43 record, they each enter the lottery with a 4.7 percent chance of securing a top-four pick.
A random drawing to break the tie among the three teams left Charlotte with the No. 12 seed for the lottery, Miami with the No. 13 seed and Sacramento with the No. 14 seed. That means the Heat can come away from the lottery with the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 13 or No. 14 pick in the draft.
Miami, Charlotte and Sacramento have a 1 percent chance at the top overall pick, a 1.1 percent chance at the No. 2 pick, a 1.2 percent chance at the No. 3 pick and a 1.4 percent chance at the No. 4 pick.
If the Heat doesn’t move up, it will stick at No. 13 or fall to No. 14 if the Kings climb into the top four.
The most likely result for the Heat is to stick at 13. There is a 90.6 percent chance of Miami remaining at No. 13.
Does the Heat have a second-round pick this year?
A: No. In fact, the Heat currently doesn’t have a second-round pick until 2022. But Miami does have cash available to buy a second-round selection on draft night if there’s a prospect on the board that it covets.
Who will represent the Heat at the draft lottery?
A: Former Heat center and current Heat vice president of player programs Alonzo Mourning will represent the organization on stage at the lottery. Mourning will be the one sitting behind the Heat’s logo when the first-round draft order of the 14 non-playoff teams are announced during ESPN’s broadcast. It’s the third consecutive time the Heat has picked Mourning, as the team’s lottery representative. The Hall of Famer also sat in front of the Heat logo in 2017 when it ended up with the No. 14 pick that turned into Bam Adebayo and in 2015 when it came away with the No. 10 pick that was used on Justise Winslow.
Heat general manager Andy Elisburg will be working behind the scenes at the actual lottery before the picks are unveiled to the public on ESPN.
What is the Heat’s history in the draft lottery?
A: The Heat has previously appeared in the lottery 10 times and has never improved its lottery seed.
2017: The Heat entered the lottery as the 14th seed and stuck at No. 14. Miami drafted Adebayo.
2015: The Heat entered as the 10th seed and stuck at No. 10. Miami drafted Winslow.
2008: The Heat entered as the No. 1 seed and came away with the No. 2 pick. Miami drafted Michael Beasley.
2003: The Heat dropped again, falling from the fourth seed to the No. 5 pick. Miami drafted Dwyane Wade.
2002: The Heat entered as the 10th seed and stuck at No. 10. Miami drafted Caron Butler.
1995: The Heat entered as the 10th seed and stuck at No. 10. Miami drafted Kurt Thomas.
1993: The Heat entered as the No. 9 seed and came away with the No. 10 pick. This pick was previously traded to the Pistons for John Salley.
1991: The Heat dropped, entering with the No. 2 seed and leaving with the No. 5 pick. Miami drafted Steve Smith.
1990: The Heat entered as the No. 2 seed and came away with the No. 3 pick. Miami traded that selection for the draft rights to Willie Burton and Alec Kessler.
1989: The Heat fell from the top seed to the No. 4 pick. Miami drafted Glen Rice.