The National Basketball Association (NBA) league is coming to season close with the Conference finals already underway. The Golden State Warriors just concluded a night of victory against Portland Trail Blazers to put them on a front foot with a 1-0 advantage in the Western Conference Finals. On the other end of the league in the East coast, Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers via a Kawhi Leonard’s breathtaking last second two-pointer. The Raptors will play the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals starting with the first game tomorrow. What a year it has been for the NBA with finals favorites like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers losing out quite early in the season.
The NBA draft lottery usually happens during the conference finals and this year’s lottery arrived with a lot of breathless anticipation about where top talents will end up. On Tuesday night, the New Orleans Pelicans shocked everyone when they won the NBA draft lottery which gives them the No. 1 pick in a draft that includes Zion Williamson; one of the most talented prospects in the history of the NBA.
For the Pelicans to win the lottery, the three teams with the worst records this season — the Knicks (17-65), the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) and the Phoenix Suns (19-63) — had to lose again. They each came into the night with a 14 percent chance of getting the top pick in a revamped system designed to reduce the value of finishing at the very bottom. The Knicks ended up with the No. 3 pick, the Cavaliers with No. 5 and the Suns with No. 6.
Before the Pelicans won the lottery, they had a 6 percent chance of getting the first pick given that they finished the season with a 33-49 record. All through the season, the Pelicans have had trouble focusing on actually winning on the court because of the chatter around the potential trade of their star man, Anthony Davis. Now with the opportunity to pick the best talent in this year’s draft, they will have some big decisions to make with Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson, that is if they go for him. The Draft will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 20 and everyone is quite excited to see how it unfolds.
The choice is left for the Pelicans to make. Will they trade their No. 1 position or will they swoop the 18 year old super-baller? Zion Williamson is the only NBA prospect to have as much media attention since 2003 when LeBron James broke into the NBA scenes from high school.