Zion Williamson of Duke flexes and smiles during a game against North Carolina.

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A Guide to the NBA Draft Lottery and Every Team's Chances of Getting Zion Williamson

May 14, 2019 - 8:32 am
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The 2019 NBA Draft lottery takes place Tuesday night to determine the order of teams picking in June's draft. The prize attached to the bouncing ping pong balls is the No. 1 pick -- and with it, the opportunity to select Duke phenom Zion Williamson. 

ESPN will air the lottery at 8:30 p.m. ET (the actual drawing takes place in a private room beforehand), prior to the start of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 14 teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs are eligible for the lottery, though some will be forced to part with their picks as a condition of a previous trade. Duke wing R.J. Barrett and Murray State point guard Ja Morant are projected to go in the top three of the draft as well.

Here is a breakdown of each team's chances of landing the No. 1 pick:

New York Knicks – 14 percent

WFAN: "Williamson would give the Knicks a potential star on a rookie contract to pair with whomever they land in free agency. A chance to draft Williamson would also make the Knicks the front-runner in any potential trade for Anthony Davis. It changes everything." The Knicks can finish with no lower than the No. 5 pick. 

Cleveland Cavaliers – 14 percent

92.3 The Fan: "Nick Gilbert, son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, will once again represent the franchise. It marks the fifth time that the young Gilbert will appear on stage at the event, including when the Cavaliers won the lottery in 2011 and 2013. The 22-year-old Gilbert suffers from neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors to grow anywhere on the body at any time." The Cavs can finish no lower than the No. 6 pick.

Phoenix Suns – 14 percent

The Suns can finish with no lower than the No. 7 pick.

Chicago Bulls – 12.5 percent

670 The Score: "Nothing gives a questionable coaching hire the appearance of legitimacy like a shiny new toy full of possibility and promise, so here's to Zion Williamson or Ja Morant becoming the Derrick Rose to Jim Boylen's Vinny Del Negro."

Atlanta Hawks – 10.5 percent

92.9 The Game: Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told "John and Hugh": "Having the possibility of having two picks in the top 10 would be pretty exciting. We have a 76 percent chance to keep the Mavericks pick and a chance to move up with ours." 

Washington Wizards – 9 percent

106.7 The Fan: "Williamson may only be the team’s second-best player behind Bradley Beal, but the forward would be the team’s best draft pick since the latter’s 2012 arrival. Williamson could fill seats at Capital One Arena and revive interest in a team that bottomed out last year at 30-52." 

New Orleans Pelicans – 6 percent

Memphis Grizzlies – 6 percent

This pick may be conveyed to the Boston Celtics.

Dallas Mavericks – 6 percent

105.3 The Fan: "Should the Mavericks not land in the top four, their pick will be sent to Atlanta to complete last year's draft-day trade for prized rookie Luka Doncic."

Minnesota Timberwolves – 3 percent

Los Angeles Lakers – 2 percent

Charlotte Hornets – 1 percent

Miami Heat – 1 percent

Sacramento Kings – 1 percent

This pick will be conveyed to the Philadelphia 76ers, or to the Celtics via the 76ers.

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