The NBA Draft Lottery delivered with drama, as the New Orleans Pelicans leaped over six other teams to land the top spot.
It was a difficult season for the New Orleans Pelicans. Struggling out of the gate led to Anthony Davis requesting a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, taking all the air out of the regular season. Trade negotiations with the Lakers dragged on with endless rumors leaking, and in the end, Davis is still a Pelican with one more year on his contract.
New General Manager David Griffin said his first mission would be to change Davis’ mind and get him to agree to an extension to stay in New Orleans. Landing Zion Williamson could certainly help. The Pelicans had just a six percent chance of landing the top pick, behind the Wizards, Hawks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Suns and Knicks. They were one of three teams, along with the Grizzlies and Lakers, to jump into the top four, but in the end it was New Orleans on top.
Full 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. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Charlotte Hornets
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
Every team has to feel disappointed on missing out, but the Knicks, in particular, must be crushed. Reports broke during the day that they would try to use the No. 1 pick to land Davis in a trade but they’ll end up with neither Zion or Davis. Point guard Ja Morant may have less appeal to the Knicks with Dennis Smith Jr. on the roster which means they’re suddenly looking at a slew of wings with big question marks.
If you’re ready to fully embrace draft fever, you can find out latest Mock Draft here. If you need a little more depth, check out our full draft tracker with Big Board Rankings and in-depth scouting reports for every major prospect.