The Utah Jazz must beat the odds in Wednesday night’s lottery to end up with a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
The lottery starts at 6 p.m. MDT and will be televised on ESPN.
As it stands, the Jazz don’t own a first-rounder, although that could change.
As part of last year’s Deron Williams trade with New Jersey, the Jazz acquired a first-round pick that originally belonged to Golden State.
The pick is top-seven protected, however, and the Warriors currently sit seventh in the draft order.
Translation: Utah gets the pick this year only if Golden State slips backward in the lottery.
• If one team moves ahead of the Warriors, the Jazz get the No. 8 pick.
• In the unlikely event two teams pass Golden State, Utah picks ninth.
• In the unprecedented event three teams pass Golden State, the Jazz get the No. 10 pick.
Mathematically, the Warriors have a 72 percent chance of keeping the pick, meaning the Jazz have a 28 percent chance of getting it.
Last week, ESPN reported the Warriors and Jazz continue to talk about a deal that would make sure Golden State keeps the pick.
The Warriors were offering future draft considerations, reduction in future protections on the pick and possibly cash.
Asked about those discussions Tuesday, Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor said, “I really have no comment.”
To be in this position, Golden State needed a late-season slide to drop into the lottery.
The Warriors lost 18 of their final 20 games. They were 1-8 at home and 2-6 against other lottery teams during the month-long stretch.
Top players Stephen Curry and David Lee had their seasons ended prematurely because of injury and, in a handful of close late-season games, rookie star Klay Thompson did not play in the fourth quarter.
Asked if he thought the Warriors lost games intentionally to improve the chance of keeping their lottery pick, O’Connor said, “It’s none of my business what Golden State does.”
O’Connor said he won’t be watching the lottery on TV: “Whatever happens happens.”
Without a backward slide by Golden State, the Jazz won’t be part of the first round in this draft.
They traded their own pick, which turned out to be No. 18, to Minnesota as part of the 2010 trade for Al Jefferson.
Teams participating in the lottery and their chance (in percentages) of getting the No. 1 pick, which is expected to be Kentucky’s Anthony Davis:
1. Charlotte 25.0%
2. Washington 19.9%
3. Cleveland 13.8%
4. New Orleans 13.7%
5. Sacramento 7.6%
6. a-Brooklyn 7.5%
7. b-Golden State 3.6%
8. Toronto 3.5%
9. Detroit 1.7%
10. New Orleans 1.1%
11. Portland 0.8%
12. Milwaukee 0.7%
13. Phoenix 0.6%
14. Houston 0.5%
a — Conveyed to Portland unless Brooklyn moves into the top three
b — Conveyed to Utah if Golden State drops to eighth, ninth or 10th