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NBA Draft Lottery Implications: What's next for the Pelicans and the Knicks?

Danny Linsner
106   //    16 May 2019, 01:03 IST

Knicks fans were hoping to get the number one pick, however, they had to settle for the third pick.
Knicks fans were hoping to get the number one pick, however, they had to settle for the third pick.

Last year, the NBA changed the rules of their annual draft lottery in order to discourage tanking and to encourage parity in the lottery.  On Tuesday night, the league got exactly what they wanted out of the lottery.

One of the most highly anticipated draft lotteries in years turned into one of the most thrilling draft lotteries of all time, as the New Orleans Pelicans overcame six percent odds to steal the first overall pick and steal the right to claim Duke phenom, Zion Williamson. 

Under the new NBA lottery rules, the three worst teams in the league - which this year were the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and the Cleveland Cavaliers - had the same odds to get the first overall pick, which was 14 percent. In the past, the worst team would have the best chance to get the top pick out of all of the other teams in the lottery. 

The new rule changes had a huge role in the final results of the lottery, as two of the teams with the best odds, the Suns and Cavaliers, were left out of the top four. On top of that, three of the four teams in the final group; the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Lakers, all entered the lottery with less than ten percent of a chance of getting the first overall pick. 

The results of Tuesday’s lottery throws a monkey wrench into many teams’ offseason plans. The Knicks, who were hoping to get the first pick, will get the third pick in the draft and will likely miss out of getting Zion Williamson. Reports said that if the Knicks got the first overall pick, they would send Zion and couple players to the Pelicans in order to obtain Anthony Davis, with whom they could build a contending team. After the lottery, however, the Knicks’ chances to get Davis are now slim to none. 

Even before they got the number one pick in the draft, the Pelicans had already been preparing for an interesting offseason. Their star player, Anthony Davis, had already expressed interest in leaving in the offseason, and according to reports, the results of the lottery may not be enough to change Davis’ mind.

If Davis does leave, the Pelicans will probably ask for a couple of potential starters back from Davis’ new team in order to make the trade worthwhile. However, if Davis does stay, the Pelicans could use him and Williamson as the building blocks for a championship-contending team. 

The NBA was looking to make the draft lottery more interesting and more drama-filled They got exactly what they hoped for on Tuesday. Tuesday’s events will have many implications for many teams, both in the short-term and in the long-term.