The Pelicans Win #1 Pick in Draft Lottery

In a shocking fashion, the New Orleans Pelicans win the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, leaping up from the 7th spot to move past clear-cut favorites New York, Phoenix, Cleveland. The Pelicans had only a 6% chance at winning the Draft Lottery, while the Knicks, Suns and Cavaliers each led the Lottery odds with a 14% chance.

Now the biggest question for the Pelicans is, will they select Duke’s Zion Williamson with that #1 pick, or will they pull off another shocker and draft Williamson’s Duke teammate RJ Barrett or Murray state’s JA Morant. Will the Pelicans shop the #1 pick? Then there’s the question about the future of Center Anthony Davis: Will the Pelicans do a current version of the ‘Twin Towers’ with Davis and Williamson or will they trade Davis to the Lakers and build the team around Zion?

Time will tell what the Pelicans will do as they secured their first top Lottery pick since 2012, when New Orleans made Davis the #1 pick out of Kentucky. The team from the Bayou finished the 2018-19 season with a record of 33-49. New Orleans would be wise to take advantage of this opportunity to build up the team.

The Memphis Grizzles, earned the #2 pick, followed by the Knicks at #3, the Lakers at #4, the Cavaliers at #5, the Suns (who drafted DeAndre Ayton at #1 last year) at #6, the Chicago Bulls at #7, the Atlanta Hawks at #8, the Washington Wizards at #9, the Hawks again at #10, the Minnesota Timberwolves at #11, the Charlotte Hornets at #12, the Miami Heat at #13 and the Boston Celtics at #14.

The Lakers also pulled off the stunner by moving up from #11 last year to #4th in the lottery this year.

In 2017, The NBA Board of Governors approved changes to the lottery system that was implemented for the 2019 NBA Draft. Under the revamped format, the NBA Draft Lottery will ensure that the team with the worst record will receive no worse than the fifth pick. Under the pre-2019 system, the team with the worst record would pick no lower than fourth.

The new system will level the odds at the top of the NBA Draft Lottery so that the teams with the three worst regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery. In the pre-2019 structure, the top seed had a 25 percent of winning the lottery, the second seed had a 19.9 percent and the third seed had a 15.6 percent.

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery was held at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago Illinois Tuesday night.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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