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Many teams felt the impact — positively and negatively — of the results of the NBA draft lottery. Among the winners were the Pelicans, Grizzlies and Lakers, who each beat single-digit probabilities to move into the top four.
The Pelicans were the big winners, getting the No. 1 pick, where they’ll almost certainly take Zion Williamson, whom they’ll look to pair with Anthony Davis for a star-studded frontcourt. The Knicks, who had the worst record and had the best chance for the top selection, fell to third, a disappointing consolation prize.
Beyond the top four or five picks, there is little consensus about the remainder of the first round. According to many draft experts, the depth of talent levels out after the initial seven picks, so teams could look to trade down to garner more picks to bolster their talent base.
Count the Pistons among that group of teams, as they hold the No. 15 pick and could look to stockpile future draft picks or find a similar talent lower in the first round. Their biggest needs are at small forward and backup point guard, but they actually could go for the best player available and see how the picks below them turn out.