The NBA draft lottery is Tuesday night in Chicago, and it may be the most consequential event of its kind in years, thanks to a potential league-altering talent at the top of the board. All season, a handful of teams have subtly or not-so-subtly jockeyed for the best odds at the top pick. Why? One word: Zion. (More on him below.)
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s drawing.
2019 NBA draft lottery
- DATE: Tuesday, May 14
- TIME: 8:30 p.m. Eastern
- TV CHANNEL: ESPN
- ONLINE STREAMING: WatchESPN
- ODDS FOR NO. 1 PICK: Knicks, Cavaliers, Suns (14 percent); Bulls (12.5 percent); Hawks (10.5 percent); Wizards (9 percent); Pelicans, Grizzlies, Mavericks (6 percent); Timberwolves (3 percent); Lakers (2 percent); Hornets, Heat, Kings* (1 percent)
- *= No. 1 pick would convey to the 76ers
Notes: This is the first lottery drawing since the NBA’s Board of Governors leveled out the odds for lottery teams.
The lottery technically only determines the seeding for picks 1-4. The remaining teams that did not secure a top-four pick are then ordered by worst regular-season records.
Depending on their placement, picks for the Grizzlies and Mavericks could transfer to the Celtics and Hawks, respectively. The Kings’ pick will go to the Celtics if it is not No. 1.
According to the league, the actual lottery procedure will take happen inside a separate room moments ahead of the broadcast.
The 2019 NBA draft will take place on June 20 in Brooklyn.
What’s up with all the Zion Williamson talk?
Duke’s beastly freshman was the consensus national player of the year, earning the most hype for an NBA draft prospect since LeBron James in 2003. He is almost universally considered a lock to go No. 1 overall, so whichever team wins Tuesday night’s drawing will have much cause for celebration.
Behind Williamson, other players who have been projected to be within the top four include Murray State’s Ja Morant, Duke’s RJ Barrett, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver and North Carolina’s Coby White.
Okay, what about the Wizards?
The Washington Wizards have a 9 percent chance in landing the top pick in the draft, the first step toward the team’s recovery from a 32-50 record. But with the sixth-highest odds, the Wizards have almost as good a chance at getting the first selection as they do the fourth (9.6 percent).
Through franchise history, Washington has had four No. 1 picks. In 2010, the last time the team picked first, the Wizards selected point guard John Wall out of Kentucky.
Raul Fernandez, vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, will represent the Wizards onstage for the lottery while interim President of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard will be in the back lottery room.
NBA draft advance coverage:
Which position will Zion Williamson play in the NBA? Whichever one he wants.
The guy who coached Zion Williamson and Ja Morant is out here selling houses
He has to come to pass: Murray State’s Ja Morant is college basketball’s assist king
De’Andre Hunter shines like a star for Virginia after quiet NCAA tournament stretch
Jarrett Culver’s NBA draft stock is soaring — maybe into the top five
When Bruno Fernando came to Maryland, a tightknit group of Angolans came to him
Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Duke’s RJ Barrett proud to rep Canada in Sweet 16
Read more on the NBA:
The Cavaliers need to find a non-LeBron identity. Michigan’s John Beilein could help.
The uncanny parallels between the 76ers’ ‘Process’ and ‘Game of Thrones’
First priority for Wizards new GM? Establishing a culture of accountability
Lakers’ muddled coaching search finally lands on Frank Vogel