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The NBA completely overhauled the format for the 2019 NBA Lottery, which left a few franchises out in the cold. For the last 25 years prior to Tuesday night's change, the team with the worst record in the NBA had a 25.0 percent chance at landing the first pick.
However, the bottom-three teams in the standings this year all had an equal 14.0 percent shot at landing the first pick. That shift resulted in the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies jumping into the No. 1 and No. 2 overall spots, respectively. With that in mind, here are the four biggest losers from the format shift in Tuesday night's NBA Lottery.
4. Boston Celtics – Pick No. 14
Before the 2019 NBA Lottery results, it was widely believed the Boston Celtics could offer one of the most competitive trade packages for Anthony Davis. But now that the Los Angeles Lakers have jumped up to the No. 4 pick, the Lakers could have the edge in available assets to trump a potential Boston offer. With Kyrie Irving's future up in the air, the NBA Lottery might've been the final nail in the coffin for any potential AD trade between the Celtics and Pelicans.
3. New York Knicks – Pick No. 3
Despite what many New York Knicks' fans may have you believe Wednesday morning, Tuesday night wasn't the end of the world for the franchise. Even so, after finishing with the worst record in the league last season (17-65), the Knicks were hoping to land Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick. As is so often the case with the Knicks in the NBA Lottery, New York's optimistic plans didn't exactly pan out. Hopefully, landing the No. 3 overall pick is a nice consolation prize for the franchise, but it certainly wasn't the slam dunk fans were hoping for.
2. Phoenix Suns – Pick No. 6
The Phoenix Suns have been searching for a legitimate franchise point guard since Steve Nash left in 2012. The 2019 NBA Draft seemed like the perfect time to address this, with Ja Morant looking like a bonafide star at the next level. Unfortunately, Phoenix fell to the No. 6 overall pick, which all but guarantees the Suns won't have a shot at Morant. Considering the Suns were in a three-way tie for the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick, this is a tough break for Phoenix.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Pick No. 5
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been absurdly lucky in the NBA Lottery in recent years, having won the No. 1 overall pick three times since 2011. But that luck finally ran out last night. Despite being tied for the best odds to land the No. 1 pick, Cleveland fell to No. 5 overall. That's tough in any year, but it's particularly unfortunate this season, as most NBA analysts believe there is a significant drop in talent after the No. 3 pick. After last night's lottery, the Cavaliers could be rebuilding for much longer than they had envisioned.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.