3 Takeaways from the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery

By Jesse Brawders
May. 15, 2019

New Orleans has all of the power

After a crazy night, the 2019 NBA Draft order for the first 14 picks is set. Arguably, the biggest winner are the New Orleans Pelicans. Going into the lottery, the Pelicans had a 6% chance on receiving the #1 overall pick. But somehow, New Orleans has went from an organization struggling to keep their key player in Anthony Davis into a team with a high chance of adding Duke star Zion Williamson to their roster. A huge question now is whether adding Zion is enough to keep Davis in New Orleans? I don't believe it will, but it does give the Pelicans something to build off of once they trade Davis away. The Pelicans could decide to trade Davis to the New York Knicks, who currently have the #3 overall pick in this year's draft, and receive the #3 pick in exchange for Davis (of course with other factors and incentives added into the mix). It could be a very interesting summer for New Orleans, with all of the power currently in their corner in concern with what happens with Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson.

The worst three teams got extremely unlucky

Entering Tuesday night, the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers all entered with a 14% to obtain the #1 overall pick. Only one of those teams (Knicks) actually were in the top four. Cleveland went from tied for the first pick to the #5 overall pick and Phoenix went from tied for first to #6. The New York Knicks seemed to have the #1 overall pick locked when the top four teams in the draft were announced. They had the best odds with 14%, the Pelicans and Grizzlies both had 6% odds, and the LA Lakers, who somehow made it to this point in the lottery, had 2% odds. New York ended up receiving the #3 overall pick, which they can use for two things: either trade it to New Orleans for Anthony Davis, or draft RJ Barrett in hope that he will pull in a star like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving in free agency. Any way you look at it, the whole 2018-19 season for these three teams were no longer worth it due to how the lottery panned out.

The change to the NBA Draft Lottery was for the better

This may just be me, but I love how the new NBA Draft Lottery works. It doesn't reward tanking like the previous format and actually is random, like the name suggests it should be, a lottery. It should be based off chance rather than how many games a team can intentionally lose. Experts used to be able to effectively predict which team would draft what player due to how bad their record was. Now it is purely based off chance, making lottery night actually worth watching. When I realized that the Lakers received the #4 overall pick, I freaked out because they only had a 9.4% chance to get a top four pick. I love the new lottery format and I hope that it stays for the future.

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