The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery is upon us and the New Orleans Pelicans have a chance to quickly move on from the likely soon to expire Anthony Davis era. This exciting event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CST tomorrow on ESPN so here’s a few things you need to know before the results are announced.
- The Pelicans have a 6% chance of landing the top overall selection from their current seventh position. Since 1985, six teams who finished with the league’s seventh worst record or better have moved up to grab the first overall pick.
- In addition to having a chance to leap to the top, New Orleans has a 26.3% of moving into the top 4. Thanks to the implementation of new rules, the top four overall picks are awarded by a drawing of ping pong balls. Previously, only the top three selections were drawn.
- The New Orleans Hornets famously moved up from a tie for third to first in 2012 — where they had a 13.7% chance of doing so — and drafted Anthony Davis. This is the only time in history they improved their position during the lottery. No franchise has experienced more good fortune than the Los Angeles Clippers, who have won the lottery five times (albeit two of those picks conveyed to other teams).
- The Pelicans highest five picks based on draft position in history are Anthony Davis (2012 1st overall), Chris Paul (2005 4th overall), Nerlens Noel (2013 6th overall), Buddy Hield (2016 6th overall) and Austin Rivers (2012 10th overall).
- With multiple teams expected to have interest in trading for Davis this summer, it’s important to note that even if New Orleans fails to move up in the draft after the lottery results they could still have a chance to wind up with Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett or another top draft choice. For instance, it’s well known the New York Knicks have positioned themselves to make a run at the big names during the upcoming free agency period and many believe that if they can attract one star they would be willing to move their 2019 first round pick for an elite trade target like Davis.
- Other teams Pelicans fans should closely monitor in the lottery: the Los Angeles Lakers (a top 3 pick would improve their odds of trading for Davis), the Memphis Grizzlies (if their first round pick falls out of top 8, the selection conveys to the Boston Celtics), and the Phoenix Suns (with Monty Williams on board as the new head coach, the Suns might consider moving a top 3 pick for either Davis or Jrue Holiday).
Be sure to wear your lucky charm! Geaux Pels!!!