The NBA Draft is an exciting time of year for basketball fans worldwide. It’s a chance to see new talent enter the league and potentially revolutionize the game. Here’s what you need to know about the NBA Draft.


Why the Draft?

Every year in June, the NBA holds the Draft. During this event, 60 new players are added to the league. These players are called upon to represent the future of the league. The main goal of the Draft is to continually balance the level of the league season after season. Each year, franchises have the opportunity to call on new prospects. The teams with the worst records at the end of the regular season have a better chance of getting a high draft pick, selecting a player with a high level and/or potential, and thus raising the level of their squad for the coming seasons. These players can also serve as an interesting bargaining chip to attract confirmed NBA players.



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par NBA (@nba)

There are some conditions to be drafted. First, the player must never have played in the NBA before. Then, they must be at least 19 years old on the day of the Draft and have been out of high school for at least one year. Except for international players.


Draft Lottery

The dream of every poorly ranked franchise: to get the first pick. The first pick and the following thirteen are distributed after what is called the Draft Lottery. Like a lottery, the names of the teams are written on ping-pong balls and drawn at random.

Each team has a percentage chance of getting the first pick. If the worst-ranked team has the best chance of getting the first pick, it’s not an exact science. The bottom fourteen teams of the season, those that didn’t make the playoffs, can hope to come away with the first pick. The three worst-ranked teams then have a 14% chance of getting the first pick, with the percentages decreasing as the order goes on.

  • Team 1 : 14.0%
  • Team 2 : 14.0%
  • Team 3 : 14.0%
  • Team 4 : 12.5%
  • Team 5 : 10.5%
  • Team 6 : 9.0%
  • Team 7 : 7.5%
  • Team 8 : 6.0%
  • Team 9 : 4.5%
  • Team 10 : 3.0%
  • Team 11 : 2.0%
  • Team 12 : 1.5%
  • Team 13 : 1.0%
  • Team 14 : 0.5%

For example, in 2023, San Antonio finished last in the Western Conference (22v-60d), but it wasn’t the worst record in the league as the Detroit Pistons did worse (17v-65d). Yet it was the Spurs who got the first pick and should therefore draft Wemby. In 2008, Chicago had a 1.7% chance of getting the first pick, but it was the Bulls who were able to call on Derrick Rose with the first pick. The same goes for Cleveland in 2014, who was able to choose Andrew Wiggins with the first pick.

For picks between 15 and 30, the logic of the ranking is used. The team with the best record gets the 30th pick, the second gets the 29th pick, and so on. The same goes for the second round: the worst record in the regular season gets the 31st pick, etc.


Draft Combine

A few weeks before the Draft night and following the Lottery, the NBA holds the Draft Combine. The biggest prospects in world basketball are invited to a camp for a few days during which their physical and technical abilities are evaluated. Speed tests, reflexes, jumps, wingspan, training matches, these young players who aspire to join the NBA are closely examined by NBA executives.



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par NBA (@nba)


Draft Night

At the end of June, a few days after the end of the NBA Finals, the Draft is held in a major city in the United States, since 2013 in New York, at the Barclay’s Center. It’s the moment many players have been waiting for, hoping to get closer than ever to their NBA dream.

The most talented, expected in the first few picks, are invited to what’s called the “Green Room”. That is, to take their place on the edge of the stage with their family and agents. This will notably be the case for Victor Wembanyama, who will then be invited to stand up to shake hands with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. A handshake sealing his arrival in the NBA.

In addition to the prestige of being chosen as high as possible, being called in the first round gives some advantages, especially financially. While it allows for more or less significant compensation depending on the number ($4.6 million per year for the first pick versus $800,000 for the 30th), a first-round pick mainly ensures a guaranteed two-year contract out of the four-year Rookie contract signed by a player entering the NBA