Hey, the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET, televised by ESPN.
It's one of those events that many NBA fans tune in for even though they haven't done much homework. And yes, there's much homework to do. Thanks to traded-pick protections, prospects having barely worked out for teams and all those percentages, the lottery is a bizarrely complicated thing.
We're here to help. Let For The Win take you step-by-step through everything you need to know about this year's lottery.
Remind me how the NBA Draft Lottery works?
The 14 NBA teams that don't make the playoffs all get odds to win the lottery, with the worst team getting the best odds and the best non-playoff team getting the worst. Then a lottery - they use ping-pong balls, just like state lotteries - is conducted to determine the top three picks in the draft. The rest of the draft order is made up of all the other teams in descending order of record.
Who will be representing each team on stage at the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery?
As part of the ESPN show, each team gets an on-stage representative to accept its lottery position. Here's the list:
• Celtics: owner Wyc Grousbeck
• Hornets: general manager Rich Cho
• Mavericks: assistant vice president and team legend Michael Finley
• Nuggets: shooting guard Gary Harris
• Pistons: general manager Jeff Bower
• Lakers: president of basketball operations and team legend Magic Johnson
Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports
• Heat: vice president of player programs and team legend Alonzo Mourning
• Timberwolves: small forward Andrew Wiggins
• Pelicans: coach Alvin Gentry
• Knicks: broadcaster and team legend Walt Frazier
• Magic: coach Frank Vogel
• 76ers: center Joel Embiid
• Suns: shooting guard Devin Booker
• Kings: coach Dave Joerger
What are the NBA Draft Lottery odds this year?
Here's what the odds look like for the No. 1 pick:
• Boston Celtics*, 25%
• Phoenix Suns, 19.9%
• Los Angeles Lakers*, 15.6%
• Philadelphia 76ers, 14.7%
• Orlando Magic, 8.8%
• Minnesota Timberwolves, 5.3%
• New York Knicks, 5.3%
• Sacramento Kings*, 0%
• Dallas Mavericks, 1.7%
• New Orleans Pelicans*, 1.1%
• Charlotte Hornets, 0.8%
• Detroit Pistons, 0.7%
• Denver Nuggets, 0.6%
• Miami Heat, 0.5%
* These picks are affected by trades.
Pro Basketball Talk's Dan Feldman offered a good visual breakdown of every team's percentage chance of landing in each pick slot.
Which trades do I need to know about for the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery?
This is where the lottery gets most complicated because teams can choose to protect or not protect their picks at various levels in trades.
Celtics-Nets pick swap
As a result of the 2013 trade that sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Nets, the Celtics now own their future. This year, that means they get to swap picks, so the Nets will be drafting No. 27 overall (along with No. 22).
Mary Altaffer/2013 AP Photo
If the Lakers' pick falls out of the top three, the 76ers get it. That comes because the Lakers traded a protected pick to the Suns in 2012 for Steve Nash, then the Suns traded that protected pick to the 76ers in a three-team deal in 2016. There's a 46.9% chance the Lakers keep their pick, 53.1% chance they lose it.
The bizarre part here is that, if the Lakers do keep their pick, they automatically lose it next year to the Sixers, as all the protections are removed. Also, they would then lose their 2019 first-rounder to the Magic because of the 2012 Dwight Howard trade. That only works if the Lakers keep their pick, as that selection turns into two second-rounders if the Lakers are not allowed to send their 2019 first-rounder. The NBA has a rule that prevents teams from dealing two consecutive first-round picks.
Kings-76ers pick swap
The 76ers get the higher of their pick and the Kings' pick thanks to the Nik Stauskas trade of 2015. That means the Kings cannot pick first but could pick second, if the Sixers get the first pick.
If the Pelicans' pick lands in the top three via the lottery, they get to keep it. If not, the Kings get it as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade earlier this year. The Pelicans have a 4% chance to keep their pick this year.
If they do keep it, the pick is only No. 1 protected next year.
You probably don't need to know anything about this, but in the situation in which all three teams selected in the lottery had worse lottery odds than the Kings' 2.8%, then the Chicago Bulls would get the Kings' pick because it is top-10 protected. This comes as a result of a 2011 trade that sent Omri Casspi to the Cleveland Cavaliers for J.J. Hickson, as the Cavs turned around and traded the pick to the Bulls in 2015.
If the Kings keep the pick, the Bulls get two second-rounders.
Who are the prizes of the 2017 NBA Draft?
Start with USA TODAY Sports' mock draft here.
Washington point guard Markelle Fultz appears to be on top of nearly every draft board. He's a versatile potential superstar drawing comparisons to Deron Williams and Dwyane Wade with a jump shot. Here's a video by DraftExpress of his strengths:
For the second and third picks, it appears four favorites have emerged: guard Lonzo Ball, forward Josh Jackson, forward Jayson Tatum and guard De'Aaron Fox. Each has knocks, but each also has serious upside.
That upside is what makes the draft so much fun. So get ready to be excited - or, mathematically more likely, disappointed.