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Atlanta Hawks Rockets Up 9 Spots to Claim NBA Draft’s No. 1 Pick

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Atlanta Hawks on the stage of NBA Draft Lottery.

In a surprise twist, the Atlanta Hawks clinched the top spot in the 2024 NBA Draft after a lackluster lottery event. They’ll have the first pick in the draft, which takes place on June 27.

The odds seemed against them, as they entered the lottery with just a 3% chance of snagging the coveted No. 1 pick. But against all expectations, the ping pong balls bounced their way, securing them the prime position in the draft order.

Completing the top four picks are the Washington Wizards, the Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs.

Last season, the Atlanta Hawks ended with a record of 36 wins and 46 losses. Although they made it to the play in tournament, they couldn’t progress further in the postseason. So, Their offense showed promise, ranking fifth in the league with an average of 118.3 points per game.

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However, their defense faced significant challenges, allowing opponents to score an average of 120.6 points per game, marking the second worst defensive performance in the NBA.

This upcoming draft pick will be the fourth time in the history of the Atlanta Hawks that they’ve had the privilege of selecting first overall. The last instance dates back to 1975 when they drafted David Thompson from N.C. State.

Now, as they prepare to make their fourth No. 1 pick, the chosen player will join an exciting and youthful core already featuring talented guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. This presents an opportunity for the Hawks to further strengthen their roster and build for the future, potentially shaping the team’s trajectory for years to come.

The 2024 NBA draft labeled as one of the least exciting in recent memory. So, many experts and analysts don’t anticipate any superstar level talent among the pool of prospects.

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NBA Draft Lottery.
NBA Draft Lottery.

However, there are numerous players with the potential to make a significant impact and contribute to turning around struggling franchises. While there may not be an obvious standout, the draft still offers hope for teams looking to bolster their rosters and improve their fortunes.

Among the potential prospects in the 2024 NBA draft is Alex Sarr, a versatile forward/center currently playing for the Perth Wildcats. Standing tall at 7-foot-1. While with an impressive wingspan of 7-foot-4½ inches and a standing reach of 9-foot-2½ inches, Sarr brings considerable size and length to the court.

Another notable contender is JL Bourg forward Zaccharie Risacher, who has been gaining attention for his skills and athleticism. Additionally, UConn center Donovan Clingan, Crvena Zvezda guard Nikola Topic, and G League Ignite forward Matas Buzelis are also generating interest among NBA scouts and analysts.

Kentucky guard Robert Dillingham rounds out the list of prospects to watch, showcasing the depth of talent available in this year’s draft class. While there may not a clear cut superstar, these players offer potential avenues for teams to enhance their rosters and build for the future.

NBA Drafts Lottery Live results:

Here are the full results from the 2024 NBA draft lottery:

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  1. Atlanta Hawks
  2. Washington Wizards
  3. Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets)
  4. San Antonio Spurs
  5. Detroit Pistons
  6. Charlotte Hornets
  7. Portland Trail Blazers
  8. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
  9. Memphis Grizzlies
  10. Utah Jazz
  11. Chicago Bulls
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Houston Rockets)
  13. Sacramento Kings
  14. Portland Trail Blazers (via Golden State Warriors)

NBA Draft Lottery Odds:

Here are the NBA draft lottery odds for the 2024 draft.

  1. Golden State Warriors — 0.7%
  2. Sacramento Kings — 0.8%
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Houston) — 1.5%
  4. Chicago Bulls — 2.0%
  5. Atlanta Hawks — 3.0%
  6. Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn) — 4.5%
  7. Utah Jazz — 6.0%
  8. Memphis Grizzlies — 7.5%
  9. Toronto Raptors — 9.0%
  10. San Antonio Spurs — 10.5%
  11. Portland Trail Blazers — 13.2%
  12. Charlotte Hornets — 13.3%
  13. Washington Wizards — 14.0%
  14. Detroit Pistons — 14.0%

Decoding the NBA Draft Lottery:

Before the NBA draft lottery broadcast, a real lottery occurs. A representative from the accounting firm Ernst & Young supervises this process entirely. The outcome of this drawing is then sealed inside an envelope.

NBA Draft Lottery stage with ambassador's boards.
NBA Draft Lottery stage with ambassador’s boards.

NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum is the one who unveils these results. So, he reveals them in descending order to a panel of 14 nervous team representatives.

The coveted No. 1 pick in the NBA draft is awarded to the team that successfully draws the winning four-number combination from the lottery machine.

This process involves 14 ping-pong balls, each numbered from one to 14, with each number representing a different NBA team eligible for the lottery. So, with these numbers, there exists a total of 1,001 possible four number combinations. However, only one specific combination is the winning ticket.

As the tension mounts, the lottery machine churns, and the fate of each franchise hangs in the balance. The moment arrives, and the winning combination is drawn, determining which team will have the first crack at selecting the top talent in the upcoming draft.

Following the awarding of the No. 1 pick, the drawing process is repeated to determine the selections for picks 2 through 4. The same principle applies, with each team’s representation linked to their respective numbered ball.

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Once these pivotal selections are determined, the remaining draft order is established based on each team’s win percentage from the previous season.

The NBA draft lottery thus serves as a crucial and exhilarating event for teams and fans alike, offering a glimpse into the future of the league as young talents are poised to make their mark on the professional basketball landscape.

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