NBA Draft Lottery winners & losers 2024: Hawks, Spurs get lucky; Raptors, Pistons face bitter disappointment

Sunday’s NBA Draft lottery was a big day for the bottom teams in the league.

Last year, only four franchises fell below 30 wins. This season, seven were below that mark. These teams went through some serious pain to try and get a top pick. 

Was the losing worth it? With the flattening out  of the lottery odds that happened in 2019
, the incentive for tanking has declined significantly. That didn’t stop the Raptors and Jazz from making hard pivots midway through their season to improve their draft luck. Other teams (looking at you, Pistons) were flat-out bad while trying their hardest to win as much as possible. 

The payout came on Sunday, leaving some very happy and unhappy teams. Here are the winners and losers from the lottery ball extravaganza. 

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2024 NBA Draft Lottery full order

Pick Team
1. Hawks
2. Wizards
3. Rockets
4. Spurs
5. Pistons
6. Hornets
7. Blazers
8. Spurs
9. Grizzlies
10. Jazz
11. Bulls
12. Thunder
13. Kings
14. Trail Blazers

2024 NBA Draft Lottery winners

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks came into the day with only a 3.0 percent shot at landing the top pick. They cashed in on their longshot bet, winning the right to select first in the draft. It’s their first time with the No. 1 pick since 1975 when they selected David Thompson.

This was supposed to be a summer of big change for Atlanta. The Trae Young and Dejounte Murray duo hasn’t produced great results, and one of them may be out the door. Having the No. 1 pick will certainly be a huge asset in reshaping the team going forward.

The Hawks have instantly become one of the most interesting teams to track this summer. 

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs had a 54.1 percent chance of getting a top-six protected pick from the Raptors. That worked out almost perfectly. The Raptors were pushed down to the No. 8 pick, which they promptly shipped over to San Antonio. 

The Spurs also had a 42.1 percent shot of having their own pick land in the top four. They nabbed that No. 4 pick to go along with No. 8. 

The Spurs have some great options with those picks. Every single decision going forward should be made with a focus on who will fit well next to Victor Wembanyama. They badly need an upgrade at point guard, and there are some nice options in this draft at where they’re selecting. 

Nikola Topic is an intriguing option out of Serbia. He has great positional size at 6-5 and can collapse defenses with his driving ability. Kentucky guards Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham are also options, as is defensive ace Stephon Castle out of UConn. 

The Spurs may not have won many games last year, but they have a chance to turn things around very quickly as Wemby gets even better and they add some young talent in this draft. 

MORE: Victor Wembanyama and Spurs have set themselves up for a monster summer

Victor Wembanyama

(Getty Images)

Teams picking in the middle of the lottery

In a normal year, teams would be thrilled about winning the lottery. This is far from the average draft, though. There is still no consensus for the top pick, let alone the top four. The potential for an Anthony Bennett-level bust is extremely high. 

There is a lot of pressure that is going to come for the Hawks, Wizards, Rockets and Spurs. They are probably not going to get those picks right. Worse still, those could be very costly errors. The guaranteed salaries for those picks will be between $7.6 and $10.5 million in Year 1, per RealGM

Picking at the top is still obviously preferred, but this is also a great draft to select in the middle of the lottery. The chances are much higher than normal that the best players from this class will come in that range.

For fans of these franchises, they should not feel too bad about “losing” the lottery, and instead get in the weeds of draft evaluation. This is very similar to Bennett’s 2013 draft in that the best player, who in that class was Giannis Antetokounmpo selected at 15, might come out of nowhere. 

French draft prospects

It was a good year for French basketball players. Wembanyama absolutely looked like the real deal, and countryman Rudy Gobert won the Defensive Player of the Year award. 

Two more big man lottery prospects are on their way. Alex Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher are mocked by Sporting News expert Kyle Irving at Nos. 1 and 4, respectively. That would have them going to the Hawks and Spurs.

Sarr is a shot-blocking phenom at 7 feet tall, while Risacher is a smooth-shooting forward with high skill. France is growing into a powerhouse of development. And Wemby’s brother, Oscar, is waiting in the wings. 

Houston Rockets

The Rockets had two chances to jump into the top four. If their own pick had landed there, then they would have kept it. Instead, they shipped off the No. 12 pick to the Thunder. They also owned the unprotected Nets pick, which had a 20.3 percent chance of going top four. That pick luckily landed at No. 3.

That’s a pretty good return for a team that refused to tank. They made big offseason improvements and went 41-41, improving drastically from last season’s 22-win performance. They owe their 2026 first-round pick to either the Thunder or Sixers, so it’s good that they’re on an upward trajectory. 

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Scottie Barnes and Trae Young

(Getty Images)

2024 NBA Draft Lottery losers

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors needed to stay in the top six of the draft in order to keep their pick this year. They pivoted from a group trying to make the playoffs to one desperate to meet that goal by season’s end. Now, they have nothing to show from a miserable last few months of consistent losing. Their pick will be sent to the Spurs. 

This marks the end of a disastrous trade that they made at the 2023 trade deadline, receiving Jakob Poeltl in exchange for Khem Birch, that 2024 No. 8 pick and two future second-rounders. Poeltl has been a good player but worth nowhere near that price. 

Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets

It was another brutal year for the Pistons. A year after finishing with a league-low 17 wins and having only the fifth pick to show for it, they won only 14 games and received the No. 5 pick in this year’s lottery yet again. 

The Blazers had two shots to jump into the top four. Instead, they received the No. 14 pick from the Warriors and their own pick, which landed at No. 7. That’s a tough drop for them given that they finished tied with the Hornets for the third-worst record in the league. 

Speaking of the Hornets, they fared slightly better than Portland, earning the No. 6 pick. That’s obviously not as good as they would have liked, but they did hit a home run in selecting Brandon Miller at No. 2 last year and have new coach Charles Lee in tow.

The lottery didn’t turn out great but things may be looking up for Charlotte. 


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