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Charlotte Hornets NBA Draft lottery preview: odds, time, and place

The draft lottery is finally here, and it's a huge night for the Hornets.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Today is May 19.

May 19 has a special place in history: It's the day Star Wars: Episode I hit theatres in 1999, the day Ric Flair won the NWA title in 1992, the day NORAD was formed in 1952, and the day the first Ringling Brothers circus occurred in 1884. It's a big day.

But dare I say no May 19 is as important as May 19, 2015.

Because tonight? Tonight is the NBA Draft lottery. And the future of the NBA rides on which teams win tonight. I don't think this is hyperbolic at all. (It is, and you can verbally assault me in the comments.)

Here's what you need to know:

The NBA Draft lottery show is at 8:30 p.m. tonight and will be televised on ESPN. There will be 14 teams in attendance, as follows (along with their records on the season and chances at the first overall pick):

Minnesota Timberwolves (16-66): 25 percent
New York Knicks (17-65): 19.9 percent
Philadelphia 76ers (18-64): 15.6 percent
Los Angeles Lakers (21-61): 11.9 percent
Orlando Magic (25-57): 8.8 percent
Sacramento Kings (29-53): 6.3 percent
Denver Nuggets (30-52): 4.3 percent
Detroit Pistons (32-50): 2.8 percent
Charlotte Hornets (33-49): 1.7 percent
Miami Heat (37-45): 1.1 percent
Indiana Pacers (38-44): 0.8 percent
Utah Jazz (38-44): 0.7 percent
Phoenix Suns (39-43): 0.6 percent
Oklahoma City Thunder (45-37): 0.5 percent

The Hornets, as you see above, have a 1.7 percent chance of moving up to the number one pick in this year's draft. Those aren't great odds, but we've seen stranger things in the past like the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the first pick three times in four years. The Hornets are projected to pick ninth in the draft, but here are their chances of moving up (or down!):

Pick: 1st 2nd 3rd 9th 10th 11th 12th
Odds: 1.7% 2% 2.4% 81.3% 12.2% 0.4% 0%*

*Statistically possible, but extremely unlikely

Chances are the Hornets stay put or move down a spot, but they do have a 6.1 percent chance of moving up as well. That's statistically significant. It has happened before, just not to the Hornets. Ultimately, the lottery is a game of chance. So it can happen.

Representing the Hornets at the lottery show tonight is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Kidd-Gilchrist was a second overall pick back in 2012, and, as much as it pains me to repeat it, a booby prize in a year that the Hornets were projected to get the first overall pick (and subsequently Anthony Davis). However, Kidd-Gilchrist has turned out to be an excellent pick, and there are few — if any —  prospects drafted in the same year that could be effectively argued as better players at this point, Davis aside.

It's also nice to see Kidd-Gilchrist representing the Hornets for another reason:

I couldn't agree more.

Tune into ESPN at 8:30 p.m. tonight.