The NBA Draft Lottery will take place this evening, with the results being announced at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN ahead of the start of Western Conference Finals.
The Knicks, Cavs, and Suns each hold a 14% chance of landing the top pick in the first year of the new lottery rules created in an effort to curb tanking for the best odds. Much of the conversation going into Tuesday’s lottery is about the Knicks, as the idea of Zion Williamson ending up playing in Madison Square Garden — with the potential of having star teammates like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — is tantalizing.
However, aside from the odds not being great for New York getting the top pick at only 14%, the dream of Zion on the Knicks may not come true even if the ping-pong balls fall in their favor. According to Shams Charania of Stadium, the Knicks will turn attention to an Anthony Davis trade should they win the lottery, with the idea of trying to bring him in to immediately contend for the Eastern Conference crown by adding him to their hopeful star free agency tandem.
This would, of course, be the best case scenario for the Pelicans, who turned down the Lakers at the trade deadline to open up their options this summer. The best asset they could get in a Davis trade would be the No. 1 pick and, effectively, Zion Williamson, and the Knicks are likely the only team that would consider such a deal.
As for the Knicks, one has to wonder if there’s pressure from the camps of the free agents they’ve been connected with to bring in an established star like Davis if they get the top pick, rather than Zion in order to make their title window immediately. While Knicks fans have been dreaming of Zion and would, undoubtedly, have some frustrations if they dealt him away, bringing in Davis would be fantastic and, if it yields a core of Davis, Durant, and Irving, that’d be hard to top.
Still, expect plenty of drama out of the lottery, as apparently it’s not a guarantee Zion Williamson will stay with the team that lands the top pick.