Zion to Pelicans? New Orleans secure top pick in NBA Draft
Zion Williamson could find a new home in New Orleans after the Pelicans secured the top pick in the NBA Draft.
The draft lottery took place on Tuesday, with the Pelicans (33-49) awarded the rights to select first ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies (33-49) in Brooklyn, New York on June 20.
It is only the second time in franchise history New Orleans will select first. The Pelicans – who are battling to retain wantaway star Anthony Davis – had just a six per cent chance to secure the pick.
Duke sensation Williamson is projected to be taken with the number one pick and New Orleans are in pole position to draft the 18-year-old.
This was the first year that the league's three worst teams in the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns all had an equal chance (14 per cent) to land the first pick.
In past years, the breakdown looked more like 25 per cent, 19.9 per cent and 15.6 per cent.
But now with the new setup, madness ensued.
The Suns dropped to sixth and the Cavaliers to fifth while the Knicks will select third. All the while, the Los Angeles Lakers — who had only a two per cent chance at the top selection — moved up to fourth.
Williamson is all but assured to go first after his freshman season at Duke. Fellow Blue Devil RJ Barrett and Murray State star Ja Morant – who has been compared to the likes of Russell Westbrook – are also projected to be top selections.
Here are the full NBA Draft 2019 lottery results:
1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Charlotte Hornets
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)