Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Knicks guide if National Basketball Association draft lottery turns into nightmare

Knicks guide if National Basketball Association draft lottery turns into nightmare

The 2019 National Basketball Association draft comes with the debut of new odds throughout the lottery (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) - giving more teams a reasonable chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick and a chance to select consensus top prospect Zion Williamson. Much of their draft-night plans will hinge upon Anthony Davis' future with the team. Whichever team picks at No. 2 will be picking more on need than if it had the No. 1 pick. Right now, the team is penciled in at the 10th spot and the Wolves have the best chance of landing that pick in the draft. Previously, the team with the worst record had a 25 percent chance, followed by 19.9 and 15.6 percent chances of the next two teams.

From 2005-18, the team slotted 10th had just a 1.1% chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, 1.3% for No. 2 and 1.6% for No. 3, with an 87.0% chance of remaining at No. 10, 8.9% moving down to 11 and 0.2% to No. 12. And since Williamson is viewed as the one transcendent talent in the draft, Boston will be eyeing where the No. 1 pick lands. Thus, the team with the worst record will receive no worse than the fifth pick. That gives an 86 percent chance for someone like Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, Jarrett Culver or De'Andre Hunter to become the pick. Teams toward the bottom of the lottery also have a better shot at a Top 4 pick.

Depending on their placement, picks for the Grizzlies and Mavericks could transfer to the Celtics and Hawks, respectively. That was because the first three picks were the only ones determined by the lottery. In that case, the pick would go to the Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston would get Philly's pick at No. 24.

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Of course, the player being referred to here is none other than Zion Williamson. Someday - maybe sooner than later based on the strength of the Western Conference - the Thunder won't be a perennial playoff team, which means if it lands in the lottery, it'll have an increased chance at a franchise-altering player.

Here's the top 14, based on intel and scouting from ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz.

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