Coming into Tuesday's lottery for the 2019 NBA draft, most people around the league knew there was an increased chance for unpredictable results, given the flattened lottery odds in the new system the league implemented this year. But as the drama unfolded, it became clear just how chaotic things were going to be.
Wow....👀👀👀— Josh Hart (@joshhart) May 15, 2019
When the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans jumped into the top four, it bumped the Atlanta Hawks' picks down to Nos. 8 (with their own pick) and 10 (with the pick they got from the Dallas Mavericks in last year's draft-day trade). Players, including Hawks guard Trae Young, were quick to react.
Draft lottery is crazy!!!— Al Horford (@Al_Horford) May 15, 2019
WHAAAAATT😳😳😳😳— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) May 15, 2019
New lottery system aye? Lol— John Henson (@Johnhenson31) May 15, 2019
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox was taken on a roller coaster of emotion. His team was the only one of the three with 14 percent odds of landing the top pick who remained in the top four, but deputy commissioner Mark Tatum pulled the Knicks' logo out of the envelope for the third pick, dashing hopes of seeing Zion Williamson play 41 games at Madison Square Garden next season.
By the time the New Orleans Pelicans had landed the No. 1 overall pick, multiple players -- including Nikola Mirotic, who was traded from New Orleans to Milwaukee earlier this season -- were left stunned.
Crazy 👀— Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) May 15, 2019
Not sure how I feel about what just happened lol— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) May 15, 2019
We just witnessed the end of tanking 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽. And we should be happy about it.— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 15, 2019
Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 4 overall pick last season, was happy to see his team land a top-two pick, while LeBron James tweeted his satisfaction with the Lakers landing at No. 4.
👀👀🙏🏾🙏🏾🗣🗣— Jaren Jackson Jr. (@jarenjacksonjr) May 15, 2019
#4 :eyes: Beautiful.— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 15, 2019
But the best reaction from the night came from Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry from inside the sequestered room where the actual draft lottery draw was held.