By the way, did you know there are 1,001 possible four number lottery outcomes, but only 1,000 four number combinations assigned to the 14 lottery teams? So in theory, one combination could be drawn that no team owns. In the unlikely case of that happening, they throw the balls back in the hopper and do it over again.
But what about the second round picks? The order of the picks in the second round are awarded by regular season record. So since Miami ended with the worst record in the league, they get the first pick in the second round (if they hadn't traded it to Boston, who in turn traded it to Minnesota), regardless of where they end up in the lottery.
But that's not to say that the lottery won't have a effect on all the teams picking in the second round. In fact, the position of two of the Blazers' three second round picks in this year's draft are still up in the air, pending the results of tonight's lottery.
This is how it breaks down. The Blazers own three second round picks in the 2008 Draft: one from Memphis Grizzlies, one from New York Knicks and one from the Phoenix Suns (via the Indiana Pacers). Confused yet? Well it gets more complicated. Since Memphis tied for the third-worst record with Minnesota, the order in which they'll select in the second round (or to say, where Portland will be selecting in the second round) is to be determined based on which team ends up with a higher pick in the first round. So if Memphis ends up with a higher pick than Minnesota, then Minnesota gets to pick before Memphis in the second round. The same is true with the Knicks and the Clippers.
Here's how the NBA describes it:
Teams that finished the regular season with identical records will select in the second round in the reverse of the order in which they select in the first round. With respect to the ties between Memphis and Minnesota (33 and 34) and the Los Angeles Clippers and New York (35 and 36): Since the order of selection in the first round for each set of teams may change based on the results of the Draft Lottery, the selection order in the second round cannot be determined until after the Draft Lottery is completed.
So what does this mean for Blazers fans? It means that, aside from hoping that the Blazers get the first, second or third pick, you should also be pulling for Minnesota to finish with a better pick than Memphis and for the Clippers to finish with a better pick than New York.
In the case of the Memphis pick, Portland ends up with the third pick in the second round if Memphis ends with a worse first round pick than Minnesota, and the fourth pick if the opposite happens. In the case of the New York pick, Portland ends up with the fifth pick in the second round if New York ends with a worse first round pick than the Clippers, and the six pick if the opposite happens.
The pick from Phoenix will be the 25th pick of the second round. No fuss, no muss.
The most ironic part of all of this? Despite having three second round picks, the Blazers won't actually be using their own pick. It was traded to the Celtics, who in turn traded it to the Sonics.