How to Watch the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery: Schedule, Live Stream and TV Info
Featured Columnist May 14, 2019 Comments Comment Bubble Icon
The 2019 NBA draft fate of the worst teams in the NBA will be determined Tuesday night in Chicago.
The NBA draft lottery takes place right before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on ESPN.
New York had the worst record from the regular season, but unlike previous years, the Knicks do not possess the best odds to land the No. 1 pick on their own.
The new lottery rules flattened out the disparity in odds to earn the No. 1 pick. Starting with the 2019 lottery, the three worst teams in the NBA will enter the process with the same odds.
2019 NBA Draft Lottery Information
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN and ESPN app
New York, Phoenix and Cleveland Have Best Odds to Earn No. 1 Pick
The institution of the new draft lottery format means the three teams with the worst regular-season records have the same odds of earning the No. 1 overall pick.
New York, Phoenix and Cleveland all have a 14 percent chance of leaving Chicago with the top selection and the right to select Duke phenom Zion Williamson.
The Knicks, Suns and Cavaliers also have a 40.2 percent chance of landing one of the top three picks.
Phoenix won the draft lottery in 2018 and took Deandre Ayton out of Arizona with the top selection.
Cleveland famously won the lottery in 2003 and took LeBron James with the No. 1 pick. Since 2003, the Cavaliers have selected first on three more occasions in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
New York has not picked first since 1985, when it took Patrick Ewing, who will be the team’s on-stage representative Tuesday night, out of Georgetown.
The Knicks need the No. 1 pick the most, as they prepare for what could be a franchise-altering offseason.
The franchise has been mired in misery for years, and winning the lottery would allow it to add at least one superstar in Williamson ahead of free agency.
Three Picks Could Be Conveyed to Other Teams
The other major storyline to watch Tuesday is which picks change hands due to previous trades.
As many as three lottery picks could be conveyed to other teams depending on where they land.
Dallas, who has the ninth-best odds of earning the top pick, will send its first-round pick to Atlanta if it lands outside of the top four as part of a draft night trade from a year ago.
That is significant for the Hawks, who could add two players out of the lottery to join Trae Young. Three lottery players from two drafts could boost Atlanta into the mix for a playoff spot if everything goes right on the court next season.
Memphis will keep its first-round pick if it lands in the top eight spots. If not, that pick gets shipped to Boston.
If Memphis keeps its selection, it will have a top-six protected pick in 2020 and an unprotected pick in 2021 that will convey to the Celtics, so it might be best for the Grizzlies to land ninth or lower to send the pick to Boston and not worry about it for future drafts.
Then there is the odd scenario involving Sacramento, who has a one percent chance to land the top pick.
Sacramento’s first-round selection will be conveyed to the Celtics, unless the Kings win the lottery. In that case, the Philadelphia 76ers would own the Kings’ pick. This situation comes from the 2017 NBA draft trade between the Sixers and Celtics in which Philadelphia took Markelle Fultz at No. 1.
It is unlikely this situation comes into play because of Sacramento’s small odds to earn the No. 1 pick, but if it occurs, it will be seen as one of the biggest shocks in lottery history.