Warriors' best, worst-case scenarios for NBA draft lottery originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
There is a lot at stake for the Warriors in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, as where the team's first-round draft picks land will play a role in how the organization attacks the offseason and prepares to make a run at a championship in 2021-22.
Here are the best-case and worst-case Warriors fans should prepare for when the lottery gets underway at 5:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
Highly unlikely dream scenario
Talk about winning the lottery, this would be one of the more improbable results in the history of the NBA's event.
Since every team in the lottery has a chance to earn a top-three selection, the Warriors could somehow end up with either the first, second, or third overall pick in the draft. However, there is just a 1.7 percent chance of the team ending up with any one of those first three picks.
In a parallel world where this most ideal scenario plays out, the Warriors end up with a top-three pick, and the Minnesota Timberwolves' protected 2021 pick conveys as the fourth overall selection.
Again, this would be the most unlikely thing to ever happen in the draft lottery, and the Warriors' own pick has a 97.6 percent chance of holding at No. 14. The Minnesota pick also has just a 9.6 percent chance of being fourth overall, so don't hold your breath for this scenario to play out on Tuesday night.
But you never know.
Most likely best-case scenario
While the result above is about as likely as being struck by lightning, this is the most likely scenario that would be an absolute slam dunk for the Warriors and their offseason plans.
Given that 97.6 percent chance of the Warriors' first-rounder staying put at 14, let's assume that comes to fruition.
But the Warriors do end up with one top-five draft pick, as the Minnesota pick ends up landing at No. 4, and thus is conveyed to the Warriors.
Golden State ends up with the chance to either select a pair of young stars, including a top-five talent, or could have a pair of valuable trade chips to go after a star player in a trade.
Maintain positive thoughts, because this would be an unfortunate result for the Warriors given the possibilities we've discussed above.
They're guaranteed to have at least one lottery pick, but end up with the 14th overall selection.
And in a twist, Minnesota's pick ends up being in the top-three, and thus stays with the Timberwolves in 2021. There is a 27.6 percent chance of Minnesota winding up in the top three on Tuesday night.
The consolation would be that the Warriors get Minnesota's 2022 first-round pick unprotected, but this still would diminish the overall value of the franchise's current haul of draft picks.
Most likely scenario
The odds point to this being what has the best chance to happen on Tuesday night.
The Warriors end up at No. 14, and the T-Wolves' first-round pick ends up landing at either the seventh or eighth overall selection. There is a 29.7 percent chance it ends up at No. 7, and a 20.6 percent chance the pick winds up at No. 8.
For a glimpse as to what the Warriors could expect at those two spots, five drafts ago (2016), Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray was selected seventh, while sparingly used reserve Denzel Valentine was taken 14th by the Chicago Bulls.
The math can feel a bit overwhelming when analyzing the various potential outcomes, but the gist is that the Warriors almost certainly will have the 14th overall pick come July 29, and will be rooting hard for the T-Wolves' selection to end up at No. 4 overall.
The direction of the Warriors' offseason plans certainly will be impacted by however things shake out on Tuesday night.