Pelicans will enter draft lottery with No. 7 slot after Friday’s drawing
NEW YORK – New Orleans finished in a tie for third place in the Southwest Division with Dallas and Memphis, which would be a mere footnote if not for the fact that all three 33-49 squads will also participate in the May 14 NBA draft lottery. Since every lottery participant must be given a specific pre-lottery slot, a tiebreaker was necessary Friday, resulting in the Pelicans being placed seventh (Memphis is No. 8, Dallas is No. 9).
All three teams will carry identical odds going into the draft lottery, including a 6.0 percent chance of winning it and a 26.3 percent chance of moving into the top four. That latter detail is especially critical for Dallas, because if the Mavericks don’t pick in that top four, their 2019 first-round selection will be conveyed to Atlanta. Memphis has a top-eight protected first-round pick, so the Grizzlies will keep theirs only if no team from pre-lottery slots 9 through 14 jumps ahead of them on May 14. During the lottery, only the top four picks can be "won." After those picks are determined, the order of picks 5 through 14 will be determined by reverse order of record. In the past, the top three picks were awarded during the lottery, but a format change was made for 2019.