The Hornets have lost once more this season, though they had no control over the outcome this time.
New Orleans and Cleveland tied for the third-worst record in the NBA this season, both finishing this strike-shortened campaign at 21-45, leaving the final decision as to where they’ll fall in lottery percentages to a coin flip.
And on Friday, the Hornets lost that flip, meaning they technically finished with the fourth-worst record in the NBA behind Charlotte (7-59), Washington (20-46) and Cleveland.
The NBA Draft lottery is May 30.
Sacramento could have lessened the odds even more for the Hornets and Cavs, but a 113-96 win over the Lakers on the final night of the regular season gave the Kings the fifth-worst record, tied with New Jersey.
With the flip now decided, the Hornets can fall to no worse than No. 7 in June’s draft. At this point, they have a 13.7 percent chance of nabbing the coveted No. 1 pick while their percentages at the No. 2 and No. 3 pick are only slightly better at 14.16 and 14.47 percent, respectively.
Percentage-wise, the Hornets’ most likely draft position will be No. 5, where they have a 32.3 percent chance of landing.
Additionally, the Hornets have a chance at landing one of the top three spots thanks to the unprotected Minnesota selection they nabbed in the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Clippers.
Minnesota finished with the 10th-worst record this season. The Timberwolves’ pick h as a 1.1 percent chance of winning the lottery, a 1.3 percent chance of the No. 2 pick and a 1.5 percent chance to win No. 3.
The difference between the No. 3 and No. 4 spots is nominal, though. The Hornets percentage for landing the No. 1 pick went down only .1 percent while they remain with a 14 percent chance to grab the No. 2 or No. 3 pick.
The draft lottery is only for the top three spots. The only way the Hornets move down is if one of the non-playoff teams behind it land one of the top three spots.
In other words, if the Hornets win the flip and end with the third-worst record, they could land anywhere from No. 1 to No. 6 after the lottery. If the three teams behind the Hornets all land picks No. 1-3, New Orleans would bump down to No. 6.
The full NBA draft is June 28.