nba Draft Rules

How are Draft Picks determined for the NBA Draft?:


  • All 30 teams get assigned one draft pick for each of the two rounds


  • First 3 picks are determined by weighted lottery drawing of the 14 non-playoff teams, with the teams with worse records receiving more number combinations (See #NBA Draft Lottery Odds below).
  • After the first 3 picks, all teams are placed in reverse order of their regular season record.
  • Second round order is determined by reverse order of regular season record including playoff teams.


  • Player must be 19 years old during draft calender year, and at least one season has passed since graduation of high school. If player did not graduate high school
  • Player must declare his eligibility 60 days before draft
  • Players are automatically eligible if United States player completes college eligibility or international player turns 22 by December 31.
  • An American player who signs a contract and plays for an international team is automatically eligible by age of 19.
  • No player is eligible for more than 2 drafts
  • Player loses college eligibility if agent is hired, or declares for draft twice

NBA Draft Lottery Odds:

Up until the 2018 NBA Draft, the team with the worst record had the highest odds (25%) for the #1 pick. This model was changed for the 2019 NBA Draft in an effort to prevent tanking, whereupon the 3 worst teams would have the same odds and the odds for teams lower would be increased.

NBA Draft Lottery Odds at #1 Pick
Worst Season Record Odds at #1
1st 14%
2nd 14%
3rd 14%
4th 12.5%
5th 10.5%
6th 9%
7th 7.5%
8th 6%
9th 4.5%
10th 3%
11th 2%
12th 1.5%
13th 1%
14th 0.5%

1st Seed= Team with Worst Record in NBA Regular Season
14th Seed= Team with Best Record of non-playoff teams

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