The drama-filled lottery finalized the first 14 picks of the 2019 NBA draft, and now the countdown has shifted from awaiting ping-pong balls to the actual selections on June 20.
Despite holding only a six percent chance, the New Orleans Pelicans received the top choice in this year's festivities. The reward is a franchise cornerstone in Zion Williamson―and some additional good fortune may help trade discussions involving Anthony Davis.
Both the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers secured top-four selections, giving the franchises a prime asset to offer.
However, since the Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Lakers all moved up six-plus spots, a couple of lottery teams have a more complicated path to a successful draft.
2019 NBA Mock Draft
1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, G, Duke
4. Los Angeles Lakers: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: De'Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, G, North Carolina
8. Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish, F, Duke
9. Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
10. Atlanta Hawks (from DAL): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Bol Bol, C, Oregon
12. Charlotte Hornets: Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
13. Miami Heat: Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
14. Boston Celtics (from SAC): Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga
15. Detroit Pistons: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky
16. Orlando Magic: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina
17. Brooklyn Nets: Goga Bitadze, C, Rep. of Georgia
18. Indiana Celtics: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
19. San Antonio Spurs: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
20. Boston Celtics (from LAC): Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina
22. Boston Celtics: Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky
23. Utah Jazz: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga
24. Philadelphia 76ers: Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
25. Portland Trail Blazers: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from HOU): KZ Okpala, F, Stanford
27. Brooklyn Nets (from DEN): Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State
28. Golden State Warriors: Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Iowa State
29. San Antonio Spurs (from TOR): Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn
30. Milwaukee Bucks: Matisse Thybulle, F, Washington
Most to Gain: New Orleans Pelicans
Barring a surprise in the last-ditch effort to retain Davis, New Orleans will send its All-Pro packing this summer. But in the process, the Pelicans can reshape the future of the franchise.
Zion Williamson may as well start looking for a home in the area. Beyond his highlight-reel dunks, the Duke forward is one of the most intelligent and effective defenders in the class. Put simply, there's no doubt which way New Orleans is leaning.
But he might only be the beginning.
Although new general manager David Griffin will attempt to change Davis' mind, he's more likely headed out the door. The Boston Celtics, Lakers and Knicks are all interested in the six-time All-Star, and each franchise can assemble an interesting offer.
Boston holds three first-round picks (14, 20 and 22), plus Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The Lakers have Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and the No. 4 pick, while Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and the No. 3 pick highlight the Knicks' assets.
Which trade package is most enticing?
That's the question we―as media and fans alike―will discuss until Davis' home for 2019-20 and beyond is finalized. This is a defining moment for the future of the Pelicans.
Most to Lose: Washington Wizards
Compared to New Orleans, Washington's crossroads is far less friendly.
The Wizards dropped three spots in the lottery, falling into the "this player is probably good but we're not sure about it" range. Washington―which only has six players under contract and hasn't yet hired a new president of basketball operations―will select ninth overall.
However, a less fortunate draft position isn't a massive issue. The bigger problem is it further complicates the Wizards' direction. John Wall is about to have a $170 million extension contract begin, and a pair of major surgeries will sideline him at least into February 2020―perhaps through the entire season.
It's decision time, Washington.
The Wiz could trade Bradley Beal, adding a young prospect and a first-round pick to prepare a cost-controlled future around Wall. But the risk of whiffing on those selections may be enough to dissuade Washington from trading the All-Star.
If Beal stays, the Wizards will approximately be $15 million under the luxury tax threshold, per Spotrac, at least a half-dozen empty roster spots and an injured All-Star point guard. And right now, an unnamed executive will be in charge of making those calls.
Washington's rookie will have enormous expectations, and it won't necessarily be fair.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.