The Chicago Bulls won the tiebreaker! What that means for the Orlando Magic

James Ennis had a season-best game to lead the Orlando Magic to a win over the Chicago Bulls. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
James Ennis had a season-best game to lead the Orlando Magic to a win over the Chicago Bulls. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Tuesday was tiebreaker day in the NBA.

A day that snuck up on everyone because it was previously unannounced and then the results sent out in a press release rather than a sort of hastily assembled television program for all to see.

Regardless, the league broke any ties in the draft order (determined by draw and not by season series or anything that happened on the court) Tuesday afternoon setting the final draft order, minus the June 22 NBA Draft Lottery.

The Orlando Magic should be happy with the results. The Chicago Bulls won their tiebreaker, placing them officially in eighth in the NBA Draft order.

Now all that is left is to conduct the Lottery on June 22.

The Orlando Magic already know they hold the best odds to win the NBA Draft Lottery at 14.0 percent and the third-worst record in the league — meaning only the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons can pick ahead of them if they fall out of the Lottery.

The biggest mystery remaining is will the Orlando Magic get the pick from the Chicago Bulls as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade. That will not get determined until Lottery day.

But the tiebreakers have put the Magic in an advantageous position.

The Chicago Bulls won their tiebreaker, giving them eighth in the Draft order over the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. This means the lowest the Bulls can pick is 12th (but that has a less than one percent chance of occurring). Orlando has roughly a four in five chance of getting Chicago’s pick and a more than 60-percent chance of that pick landing at eighth or ninth.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

The tiebreaker does not change the Bulls’ odds of winning the draft lottery. They retain a 4.5-percent chance of winning the top pick and a 20.2-percent chance of getting into the top four and retaining their pick.

What the tiebreaker means that if they are out of the top-4, they get the spot over those two teams they tied in the standings. Instead of potentially getting the 10th pick, the Magic get the eighth pick.

That would be a huge advantage. And with a roughly four in five chance, the odds are the pick will convey to the Magic this year.

The other thing the tiebreaker did was determine which set of number combinations the Bulls will get for the Lottery. They will now get the first group of 45 number combinations left for spots 8, 9 and 10 in the Lottery pecking order.

Again, all their odds are the same and the Bulls did not improve their position to get into the Lottery with this tie-breaking win. They merely got the first set of number combinations and assured their pick would come first in the draft order should they lose the Lottery.

Which, again, has a four in five chance of happening.

In summary, then, the Magic are in a good position to get into the top-4, with a better than 50-percent chance of that, plus a good chance of receiving the Bulls’ pick. There is a 34.5-percent chance that pick will land at No. 8 and a 36.2-percent chance it will land at No. 9.

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That is what was decided Tuesday. Now everyone just waits for June 22 and the actual Lottery.