The San Antonio Spurs season is officially over, ending a frustrating but encouraging year for the team. While their record might not reflect it, several players made significant strides. All three of San Antonio's 2022 first-round picks played well, with Jeremy Sochan and Malaki Branham shining especially bright after the trade deadline. That is definitely encouraging, though the unofficial goal for this team was to finish with a bad record to give them a chance at the top pick in this year's NBA draft.
The Spurs finished 22-60, tying the Houston Rockets for the second-worst record in the NBA. That complicates San Antonio's lottery odds a bit since the tiebreaker for the draft lottery differs from playoff tiebreakers. A coin flip will decide which team will have the second-best lottery odds and who will have the third-best.
San Antonio Spurs lottery odds for every possible pick
No matter what, the three worst teams in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons, Spurs, and Rockets, will have identical odds for picks one through four.
1st pick: 14%
2nd pick: 13.4%
4th pick: 12%
That means San Antonio, Houston, and Detroit will have a 52.1% chance at a top-four pick but just a 14% chance at number one. That is simple enough, but what if the Spurs win the coin toss with the Rockets?
5th pick: 27.8%
6th pick: 20%
On the other hand, should the Spurs lose the coin toss, the odds of them ending up with picks five through seven are as follows:
5th pick: 14.8%
6th pick: 26%
7th pick: 7%
As you can tell, finishing third in the draft lottery order has more downside, even if it provides the same upside. Should Houston win the coin flip (reverse jinx), they are guaranteed a top-six pick with higher odds of selecting fifth. San Antonio would be guaranteed a top-seven selection, with higher odds for the sixth pick.
Simply put, the Spurs should hope to win the coin flip to limit their chances of falling out of the top five. Doing so would decrease the odds of an exceptionally disappointing draft lottery for the Spurs. However, like the draft lottery itself, it will all come down to luck, and let's hope the Spurs have plenty of it.