Somehow the New Orleans Pelicans Won the Draft Lottery
Will it be enough to keep Anthony Davis in New Orleans? Probably not.
But tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans beat the odds and won the NBA Draft Lottery, securing the #1 overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft. The Pelicans only had a 6% chance to win the lottery, same as the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies.
For those not familiar, the NBA Draft Lottery is literally a lottery, ping pong balls and all. The NBA teams who miss the playoffs are all entered into the lottery to seed out that year's draft order. The teams with the 3 worst records in the league all get the best chances to win the lottery, 14%. This year those odds went to the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns. The next team, the Chicago Bulls had a 12.5% chance on winning, then the Atlanta Hawks who had a 10.5% chance to win, and the Washington Wizards with a 9% chance. Then clumps of teams, like the Pelicans, with odds ranging from 6% to 2%.
This year was a great year for the Pelicans to pull off the upset too. Some years in the NBA, there's no "lock" for the #1 pick. There's a couple of guys who could be good NBA players all floating around the top. But this year, it's one of those years where a lot of people, especially the experts, all agree that there's a "generational" talent at the top of the draft.
That player is Duke's Zion Williamson.
This kid has been projected as "the guy" since he was a young high school player. His YouTube highlights set the internet on fire. Then when he got to Duke, and was playing against elite college competition, and STILL dishing out vicious windmill dunks in games, everyone knew he was the real deal.
Now he will probably be a New Orleans Pelican (unless new Pelicans leadership is able to trade the pick for a bucket of veteran talent), and it might be the team's last shot at keeping franchise player Anthony Davis in Nola.