(WVUE) - When the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins, one of the franchise's hopes was that the first-round pick sent to Sacramento would be later in the round due to New Orleans making the playoffs. The newly-constructed team fell short of that goal, but the pick does not definitively belong to the Kings...for now.
The asset is "Top-3 Protected", meaning if the Pelicans own one of the ping pong balls that comes out of the NBA Draft Lottery's hopper in the first three picks, they will get to keep their selection and the Kings will be out of luck.
In 2012, New Orleans won the first overall pick with a 13.8% chance of doing so. In 2017, they have just a 4% chance of falling in any of the top three slots. Specifically, they have a 1.1% chance at #1 overall, 1.3% for #2 and 1.6% at #3.
Otherwise, the Kings will receive either the 10th, 11th or 12th selection.
Boston has a 25% chance to win the first overall pick, thanks to a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Phoenix (19.9%) and the Lakers (15.6%) are behind them. The whole process takes place Tuesday, May 15 at 7 p.m.