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Clippings: How to watch the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery

It’s the silliest, yet most impactful event of the NBA calendar.

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2018 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

One of the most fun and inexplicably significant nights of the NBA calendar is upon us: the 2021 draft lottery.

1001 lottery balls will decide the fate of Cade Cunningham and the franchise lucky enough to win the No. 1 pick and thus the right to select the league’s next game-changing superstar. It’s a ridiculous tradition, and one that I enjoy tremendously because of how seriously half of the league’s executives have to take the machinations of ping pong balls.

The Clippers, of course, will not be participating in the lottery as they are a playoff team, and because the majority of their first-round picks for the foreseeable future are in the hands of the OKC Thunder. No matter what happens tonight, the Clippers own the 25th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

How to watch

Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Time: 5:30 p.m. PT

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: fuboTV or Watch ESPN

Fourteen other teams will be participating in the lottery, and they will be represented by a variety of team officials, former and current players. On the vibes of their representatives alone, it would seem Minnesota has the best chance of getting some lottery luck.

Houston, Detroit, and Orlando each have a 14.0 percent chance of earning the top pick. The Thunder — by virtue of winning their final regular-season game — fell into a tie for fourth place with the Cavaliers, and thus only have an 11.5 percent chance at the first overall selection.

The stakes are high for the Rockets, who will convey their pick to OKC if it doesn’t land in the top four. The chances of losing the pick are about 48 percent. Similarly, the Timberwolves will send their pick to the Warriors if it doesn’t land in the top three, so they only have a 27.6 percent chance of keeping their selection.

From a competitive balance perspective, the Clippers are probably rooting for Golden State to end up with a late lottery pick rather than an unprotected pick in 2022. The Thunder have so many draft picks that it probably doesn’t matter how many more they get, but getting Cunningham might force Oklahoma City to expedite its tanking timeline and actually start trying again, which would be nice.

One of the great moments of recent Clippers lore was when the team won the Blake Griffin draft lottery in 2009. Hopefully some other franchise gets to look back on this day as an equally momentous occasion in their history.

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