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Knicks and Cavs set to miss out on college superstar Zion as Pelicans win NBA lottery

The Knicks, Cavs and Suns each had a 14% chance of landing the number one selection but missed out.

Williamson: lit up college basketball this season.
Williamson: lit up college basketball this season.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE NEW ORLEANS Pelicans won the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday and will have the chance to make collegiate superstar Zion Williamson the top pick on 20 June.

The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each had a 14% chance of landing the number one selection under a system that gives equal chance of winning the lottery to the teams with the three worst records in the league.

The Pelicans were a long shot, with only a 6% chance of winning the lottery.

But they came up number one, with the second pick going to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The New York Knicks gained the third selection and the Los Angeles Lakers will pick fourth.

Duke University star Williamson was an interested onlooker at the ceremony in Chicago, since he’s widely predicted to be taken first in the draft after a dazzling freshman season.

Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils, who were knocked out of the March Madness NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight round.

“It’s a lot to take in. I don’t know where I’m going to be,” he said, noting that until draft day comes it’s not certain the Pelicans will pick him.

Wherever he lands, Williamson said, he believes his “will to win” will be the biggest asset he can bring to the NBA.

“Whatever that team needs me to do, I’m going to be able to do it,” he said.

NBA Draft Lottery Basketball Duke star Zion Williamson arrives at the draft lottery. Source: Nuccio DiNuzzo

The outcome of the lottery immediately sparked speculation that a Pelicans team that adds Williamson could induce disgruntled star Anthony Davis to stay.

Davis was at the center of one of this season’s most acrimonious NBA soap operas after submitting a trade request in January with the Lakers believed to be his preferred destination.

The move stalled after negotiations between the clubs collapsed.

Davis has a year remaining on his Pelicans contract, and acknowledged last month that he could yet end up in New Orleans next season.

“Obviously it’s a possibility it could happen,” he said, and the addition of Williamson to the roster might make that prospect more inviting.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will pick fifth in the draft, Phoenix sixth, Chicago seventh and Atlanta eighth. Washington and Atlanta round out the top 10.

2019 NBA draft lottery results

1. New Orleans
2. Memphis
3. New York
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte
13. Miami
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
15. Detroit
16. Orlando
17. Brooklyn
18. Indiana
19. San Antonio
20. Boston (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Utah
24. Philadelphia
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee

Second round draft choice order

31. Brooklyn (from New York via Philadelphia)
32. Phoenix
33. Philadelphia (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Philadelphia (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)
35. Atlanta
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
37. Dallas
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Philadelphia (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Atlanta (from Charlotte)
45. Detroit
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers
49. San Antonio
50. Indiana
51. Boston
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
53. Utah
54. Philadelphia
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
59. Toronto
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)

© — AFP, 2019

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