The 1986 NBA Lottery Draft was featured on CBS Sports with host Pat O’Brien…..as NBA Commissioner David Stern conducts the lottery draws…..wherein the Golden State Warriors would end up with the 3rd pick and would take NC State’s C Chris Washburn…..and the Boston Celtics would end up with the 2nd pick with which they would pick Maryland F Len Bias…..while the Philadelphia 76’ers would win the NBA Lottery…..which they traded to Cleveland Cavs…..who would go on to select UNC C Brad Daughtery with the 1st pick of the 1986 NBA Draft.
After the 1984 coin flip….which was won by the Houston Rockets….the NBA introduced the lottery system to counter the accusations that the Rockets and several other teams were deliberately losing their regular season games in order to secure the worst record….and consequently the chance to obtain the first pick.
The lottery system involved a random drawing of an envelope from a hopper….and Inside each of the envelopes was the name of a non-playoff team. The team whose envelope was drawn first would get the first pick. The process was then repeated until the rest of the lottery picks were determined. In this system, each non-playoff team had an equal chance to obtain the first pick. The rest of the first-round picks were determined in reverse order of the win-loss record.
Starting from 1987, the NBA modified the lottery system so that only the first three picks were determined by the lottery…..so, after the three envelopes were drawn….the remaining non-playoff teams would select in reverse order of their win-loss record. This meant that the team with the worst record could receive no worse than the fourth selection, and the second-worst team could pick no lower than fifth, and so on.