Jazz Finish Season, Lock Up Ninth-Best Lottery Odds

Apr 9, 2023, 4:43 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 128-117, locking up the ninth-best odds to win the NBA draft lottery.

Kris Dunn scored a season-high 26 points to go with 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead four Jazz scorers who finished in double-digits.

LeBron James scored 36 to lead the Lakers.

Jazz Lock Up Ninth-Best Lottery Odds

With the Jazz’s loss to the Lakers, they finished the season with a 37-45 record, sitting alone with the ninth-worst record in the NBA.

The Dallas Mavericks also lost Sunday afternoon but finished the season with 38 wins, and own the 10th-best odds of winning next month’s lottery.

The loss means the Jazz will have a 20.2 percent chance of moving into the top four picks in June’s draft, a 50.8 percent chance of drafting ninth, and a 29 percent chance of getting jumped by at least one team ranked 10-14.

The Jazz with have a 4.5 percent chance of winning the top pick, a 4.8 percent chance of winning the second pick, a 5.2 percent chance of winning the third pick, and a 5.7 percent chance of winning the fourth pick.

Timberwolves Earn Eighth Seed

Despite one of the wildest final games of the regular season by any team in league history, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Pelicans and will enter the play-in tournament as the eighth seed.

Former Jazz center Rudy Gobert punched Timberwolves teammates Kyle Anderson in the first half of the game, and was sent home by the team for the final two quarters.

In the second half, forward Jaden McDaniels broke his hand punching an object as he walked through the Timberwolves tunnel, and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

However, the Timberwolves completed a comeback victory over New Orleans, setting up a matchup with the Lakers on Tuesday in game one of the play-in tournament.

If the Timberwolves beat the Lakers, they’ll earn a trip to the playoffs where they’ll face the Memphis Grizzlies, and the first-round pick they owe the Jazz will sit at number 16.

If they fall to the Lakers, they’ll face the winner of game two of the play-in tournament featuring the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder. If Minnesota wins that game, the pick they owe the Jazz will be number 15 overall.

If the Timberwolves fail to make the playoffs, they’ll owe the Jazz the 14th pick in the draft, the final selection of the lottery.

There is also a scenario where the draft pick climbs to 13 if both the Timberwolves and Pelicans fail to make the playoffs via the play-in tournament. A random drawing from the NBA would then determine the tiebreaker for the 13th and 14th picks.

Furthermore, the pick owed to the Jazz could climb as high as 12, if the Miami Heat also fail to qualify for the playoffs via the play-in tournament, and both the Timberwolves and Pelicans fall short of the playoffs.

With the 14th pick in the lottery, the Jazz would add a 2.4 percent chance of moving into the top-four picks in the draft. With the 13th pick, their odds would increase by 4.7 percent. If the Jazz landed the 12th pick, their odds would increase by 7.0 percent.

Ultimately, if the Jazz land another lottery pick via the Timberwolves, their odds of moving into the top four picks of the draft would hover between 22.6 percent, and 27.2 percent.

Jazz Land 28th Pick From 76ers

The Jazz also learned the fate of their third first-round pick earlier Sunday as the Philadelphia 76ers downed the Brooklyn Nets in their regular season finale.

That pick will sit at number 28 overall as Philadelphia finished with the third-best record in the NBA at 54-28.

This pick belongs to the Jazz by way of the Brooklyn Nets who sent it to Utah in the Royce O’Neale trade last July on the first day of free agency.

The NBA Draft lottery will be held on Tuesday, May 16.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz Finish Season, Lock Up Ninth-Best Lottery Odds