The New Orleans Pelicans have the lowest odds of winning the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, possessing only a 0.5% chance of landing the first overall draft pick and thus having the privilege of selecting Victor Wembanyama, easily the most hyped prospect since LeBron James, in June.
Moving inside the top four is nearly as unlikely, with the Pelicans having 2.4% odds of opening the door to names like Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller and the Thompson brothers.
The Pelicans need something akin to a miracle of happening on Tuesday evening. No team has ever moved up from a pre-lottery position of No. 14 since the Charlotte Bobcats expansion increased the number of teams in the league from 29 to 30 in 2004.
Interestingly though, the Charlotte franchise pulled off the near impossible right before the turn of the millennium. The Hornets, which had a 0.5% chance of grabbing the overall top pick and 1.83% odds of moving inside the top 3, jumped up from No. 13 to No. 3 in 1999.
Those Hornets went on to select Baron Davis out of UCLA, and as a fun side note, Duke’s Trajan Langdon, the current general manager of the Pelicans, was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 11.
The New Orleans franchise has enjoyed good fortune in the past, winning two NBA draft lotteries over the last 11 years. They moved up three spots in 2012 to choose Anthony Davis out of Kentucky and climbed six rungs to select Duke’s Zion Williamson in 2019.
David Griffin, the executive vice president of basketball operations, will represent the Pelicans on stage during the televised portion of the drawing and Bryson Graham, the assistant general manager, will be in the backroom where the actual lottery takes place, per Christian Clark.
What: 2023 NBA Draft Lottery
When: May 16, 7:00 PM CDT
Where to Watch: ESPN
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