From now until the end of the NBA season, Thunder fans want the Toronto Raptors to limbo.
How low can you go?
The Raptors awoke Sunday with a 26-40 record and figure to go to bed at 26-41 after failing to end the Miami Heat's 21-game winning streak this afternoon at Air Canada Centre.
Each Toronto loss brings potentially a little more good news to the Thunder, which owns the Raptors' first-round pick this year if it falls between Nos. 4 through 14. Toronto retains the pick if it comes between Nos. 1-3 and Nos. 15-30.
Losing forward Andrea Bargnani for the season to a right elbow injury presumably helped OKC's cause, but the Raptors are just 5-20 with Bargnani in the starting lineup and 21-20 without him.
OKC's draft fate depends upon the May 21 retrieval of ping-pong balls in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The 14 teams that do not qualify for the playoffs are entered into that season's draft lottery, which determines the selection order. Thunder fans obviously don't want the Raptors to limbo too low in this year's lottery order.
The Raptors currently have the 11th worst record in the league and trail by six games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
If Toronto finishes with the 11th worst record, it will be awarded eight ping-pong combinations, which will give the Raptors a 0.8 percent chance of receiving the No. 1 pick, a 0.9 percent chance of receiving the No. 2 pick and a 1.2 percent chance of receiving the No. 3 pick, which means there's a 97.1 percent chance OKC will own Toronto's first-round lottery pick for the NBA Draft on June 27.
In addition, the Thunder possesses a first-round pick from Dallas that is protected for picks Nos. 1-20 through 2017 and unprotected in 2018. The Mavericks currently have the 13th worst record, which means it's almost a certainty the Thunder will not possess the Mavs' pick this year.
OKC also has its own first-round pick this year (currently No. 28) and Charlotte's second-round pick this year (currently No. 31).
As part of the James Harden trade on Oct. 27, 2012, the Thunder acquired two protected first-round draft picks from Houston via the Rockets' previous dealings with Toronto and Dallas.
OKC's pick via Toronto is protected through the 2017 NBA Draft with the following parameters:
*In 2013, the selection is protected for Nos. 1-3 and 15-30, leaving Nos. 4-14 for OKC.
*In 2014 and 2015, the selection is protected for Nos. 1 and 2 and 15-30, leaving Nos. 3-14 for the Thunder.
*In 2016 and 2017, the selection is protected for the No. 1 pick and 15-30, leaving Nos. 2-14 for OKC.
*In 2018, the selection becomes unprotected, which means the Thunder will receive the Raptors' selection regardless of where it is if it hasn't already been awarded from 2013-17.