Barring something unforeseen happening, Zion Williamson will be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. The bigger question is what team will land him. We have had favorites to be the No. 1 pick heading into the lottery, but it has been a while since we had a consensus No. 1 pick like Williamson.
The Knicks, Suns and Cavs all have the best chance to land Williamson at 14 percent, per Tankathon. Some Lakers fans were hoping for a chance to pair Williamson with LeBron James, but the Lakers have just a two percent chance to win the lottery.
This will be the first year under the new NBA rules which gives the worst three teams the best odds, instead of just the team with the fewest number of wins. NBA.com detailed the new lottery format.
The new system will level the odds at the top of the NBA Draft Lottery so that the teams with the three worst regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery. In the pre-2019 structure, the top seed had a 25 percent of winning the lottery, the second seed had a 19.9 percent and the third seed had a 15.6 percent.
The odds for the remaining participants in the 14-team lottery will be reduced gradually after the top three. For instance, the difference in lottery odds between the first three seeds (14 percent) and the fourth seed (12.5 percent) will be 1.5 percent. The difference between the fourth seed and the fifth seed (10.5 percent) will be 2 percent, and the difference between the fifth seed and the sixth seed (9 percent) will be 1.5 percent.
Zion Williamson Is Still a Lock to be the No. 1 Pick Despite His Recent Knee Injury
Williamson showed no ill-effects of the knee injury he suffered against North Carolina in February. Williamson would likely have been the No. 1 pick even if the injury was serious, but the Duke big man removed all doubt with his play against Syracuse in the ACC tournament. ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz tweeted an overview of Williamson’s performance after watching him against Syracuse in Charlotte.
About as impressive of a start possible for Zion. All over the glass, diving on the floor for loose balls, in the passing lanes, cashed a wing 3. Regardless of the injury, he only knows one speed, which is what makes him so appealing. Rare star who does the little things…Sounds like a broken record but just an incredible all-around performance for Zion Williamson: 29 PTS (13-for-13 FGs), 14 REBS (7 offensive), 5 STL, 2 AST, 1 BLK. Willed the Blue Devils to a win when the rest of the group looked flat early. A star in his role.
Zion on Shutting Down His College Career: “Thanks, But No Thanks”
There were plenty of fans and media members that suggested Williamson shut down his college career to preserve his NBA draft status. Williamson denied that there was ever a chance he would not finish out his freshman season.
“For the people that think I should just stop playing in college: thanks, but no thanks,” Williamson said, per CBS Sports. “When I’m out on that rectangle, nothing else matters. It’s just poetry in motion for me. It’s what I love to do…I’m enjoying my college experience. I’m trying to go for that national championship.”