Pelicans Roster & Lineup With Zion Williamson Updated for 2019

Can the NBA Draft lottery be rigged? An exploration as the Knicks’ big day approaches

It is only the second time in franchise history New Orleans will select first.

And it was New Orleans who ended up winning the lottery, and ultimately the Zion Williamson sweepstakes. The Knicks, Cavs, and Suns all tanked to try and land Williamson, but now they'll be picking 3rd, 5th, and 6th respectively unless they make trades.

The Memphis Grizzlies will pick No. 2, the New York Knicks No. 3, the Los Angeles Lakers No. 4 and the Cleveland Cavaliers No. 5. But reports suggested following Tuesday's lottery victory that Davis still wanted to be dealt from New Orleans.

The Pelicans, a small-market franchise engulfed in uncertainty with an unhappy superstar who wants out, defied the odds and won the potentially league-altering lottery despite having only a 6-percent, or seventh-highest, chance at the top pick in the June 20 draft. But with the third pick, they'll be in a position to draft a promising rookie (likely either thrilling point guard Ja Morant or Canadian sensation R.J. Barrett), and still have the cap space and allure to draw marquee free agents such as oh, I don't know, Kevin Durant.

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If Griffin can not persuade Davis to have a change of heart, he will get to work on acquiring the best package available, most likely focusing on a group of young players and draft picks.

Like LeBron James, Zion Williamson is the type of freak athlete who could probably excel at just about any sport he tried to play.

Obviously, given that the Jazz didn't own any other team's first-round pick and that they weren't in the lottery themselves, they weren't directly affected in any way by the determined order. Although they fell short of the top spot, the Lakers improbably climbed from 11th to 4th on lottery night, providing a lifeline to LeBron's team this summer as they look to regroup and build a victor around their superstar.

But now, the Lakers have a very real chance at getting back into the conversation. The Grizzlies continued to play to win games as they were trying to convey their pick and they have been rewarded as has the Pelicans and the Lakers.

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Cash in that ticket, David Griffin.

However, the Knicks aren't the only team that's expected to pursue Davis.

Which would seem to align New Orleans with the Boston Celtics.

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