NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers: Pelicans, Lakers, throwing a party; Knicks, Zion Williamson leave room bitter

The NBA Draft lottery order was revealed on Tuesday, and the Pelicans, out of left field, stunned the field to end up with the No. 1 overall pick, with which they will almost certainly select Zion Williamson. The full lottery results are below:

  • No. 1: New Orleans Pelicans
  • No. 2: Memphis Grizzlies
  • No. 3: New York Knicks
  • No. 4: Los Angeles Lakers
  • No. 5: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • No. 6: Phoenix Suns
  • No. 7: Chicago Bulls
  • No. 8: Atlanta Hawks
  • No. 9: Washington Wizards
  • No. 10: Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas)
  • No. 11: Minnesota Timberwolves
  • No. 12: Charlotte Hornets
  • No. 13: Miami Heat
  • No. 14: Boston Celtics (via Kings)

Here's a quick look at the bigger winners and losers from Tuesday night's lottery results. 

WINNERS

New Orleans Pelicans

This is pretty obvious. They came in with a 6 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, and still got it. They can now use it to take Zion Williamson and begin their post-Anthony Davis rebuild, or, perhaps, use Williamson as trade bait to potentially bring in a second star who would maybe convince Davis to stay. For what it's worth, Davis reportedly hasn't changed his stance that he wants out of New Orleans, but either way, the Pelicans are in a lot better position now than they were before. Just a huge night for the Pels, who now have real options to carve a solid path forward with or without A.D. 

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers were projected to get the No. 11 pick. Instead, they jumped all the way to No. 4. That is huge on a lot of levels. First, it gives them another really valuable trade chip to add to their potential offer for Anthony Davis, and even if that doesn't come through, it's a trade chip that could perhaps be used to deal for a bit lesser star -- maybe Kevin Love or Bradley Beal. Worst-case scenario, the Lakers simply use the pick and draft a quality player to add to their quality young core, continuing to stock the pond for life after LeBron while still having the cap space to add a max free agent this summer. 

Davis says he still wants out of New Orleans, and with Zion Williamson all but on board, this will make it much easier for David Griffin and the Pelicans to stomach trading their franchise player. Davis tried to force his way to the Lakers at the trade deadline, and the Lakers, conveniently enough, suddenly have an even more attractive offer after securing the No. 4 pick, as mentioned above. Good night for Davis. 

Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis came in with just a 19 percent chance to secure a top-three pick. They one-upped that and landed at No. 2, where our Gary Parrish says in his updated mock draft they will select Murray State point guard Ja Morant. Morant is a really intriguing prospect with incredible ball skills, and with him on board, that would seemingly free up the Grizzlies to go out and get a nice return on a trade for Mike Conley. Speaking of which ...

Conley is a winner here. He loves Memphis and the city loves him, but he's still a really good player and deserves a shot to win at a high level, much like his longtime teammate Marc Gasol got in being dealt to Toronto. The Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers have been linked to Conley, and they could both really use him. They're actually both winners in this lottery reveal, too, for the shot they should have at getting Conley. We'll see if either can make it happen. 

LOSERS

New York Knicks

When it was announced the Phoenix Suns had fallen to the No. 6 pick in Tuesday NBA Draft Lottery reveal, and the Cavs had fallen back to No. 5, the Knicks suddenly had the best odds on the board of landing the No. 1 overall pick. But it wasn't to be. They ended up with the No. 3 pick, where Gary Parrish says they'll take Duke's RJ Barrett. 

It's not a total loss for the Knicks. Barrett projects to be an All-Star in most people's opinion. But that No. 1 pick would've opened the door to potentially trade for Anthony Davis. Now that's out. No way the Knicks have an attractive enough offer to make centered on the No. 3 pick. Barrett, or any other player outside of Zion in this draft, doesn't have that kind of appeal. Maybe they could use it to trade for a lesser player, perhaps like the Lakers Kevin Love would make sense, and add that to the two max free agents they intend to attract this summer. But getting Davis is out. And getting Zion is out. And Knicks fans certainly had their hopes up for both, especially when they saw the Suns and Cavs drop. 

Zion Williamson

Zion was reportedly hoping to end up with the Knicks, and after it was revealed that the Pelicans were going to be selecting No. 1, Williamson was reportedly "whisked" out of the room quickly. 

Nobody's going to feel bad for a guy who's about to go No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft because he doesn't get to go to the city that he prefers, but Zion's human and everyone has wishes and his apparently didn't come true on Tuesday. Something tells me he'll get over it. 

Boston Celtics

A lot of teams moved up in this lottery well beyond their projected spot. The Celtics didn't catch any of that luck and wound up at No. 14. The end goal is getting Anthony Davis, and before the lottery results, they appeared to clearly have the best package to offer. But now the Lakers unexpectedly have the No. 4 pick to throw into their package. Had the Lakers stayed at their projected No. 11 spot, there's not enough difference between 11 and 14 to swing the tide from the Celtics' package centered on Jayson Tatum. 

Maybe there still isn't. But Tatum didn't look great in the playoffs, and those Lakers youngsters, particularly Brandon Ingram (here's to hoping his blood clot issue was a one-time thing) and Kyle Kuzma, looked pretty darn good down the stretch of the season. Throw in Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball and the No. 4 pick, and perhaps the Celtics don't clearly have the best package anymore. Then, what does that mean for Boston's chances of re-signing Kyrie Irving if they suddenly lose out on getting Davis? A lot of trickle-down dynamics to this lottery reveal, and while none of them necessarily killed Boston, certainly none of them helped. 

Phoenix Suns

Along with the Knicks and Cleveland, the Suns had to best odds to land the No. 1 pick. They had a 40-percent chance to end up in the top three at least, also tied with New York and Cleveland for the best chance. Instead, they end up at No. 6. Not much else to it. They came in with hopes of Zion and came out with a mid-lottery pick on a draft that isn't considered to be terribly deep. The good news is Gary Parrish says they'll get Vanderbilt's Darius Garland, who should fill their point guard hole next to Devin Booker. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Same as Phoenix. Had the best odds to land the No. 1 pick and a top-three pick, and fell to No. 5. Gary Parrish says they'll select Jarret Culver out of Texas Tech at this spot. 

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