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NBA Draft Lottery 2019: When it starts, the best odds to get Zion Williamson, how to watch it live

In which NBA city will Duke star Zion Williamson end up?

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Clemson v Duke

Zion Williamson is expected to be the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Getty Images

In the NBA , teams that don't make the playoffs all have a chance at landing the first pick in the draft by way of the draft lottery. The fewer games a team won last season, the greater its odds are at landing the top pick in the NBA Draft.

The top prospect in this year's draft is Zion Williamson, a power forward from Duke who has drawn comparisons to none other than LeBron James for his rare combination of size and athleticism. Other names expected to be called early in the draft are RJ Barrett, another forward from Duke, and Ja Morant, an explosive point guard from Murray State.

If you're an NBA fan hoping your team lands Zion or another top player, the NBA Draft Lottery is where you'll find out their chances. The top pick is a powerful thing. Here's everything you need to know about watching the lottery live, no cable subscription required.

When is the NBA Draft Lottery?

The NBA Draft Lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

What teams are involved and what are their odds of winning?

The teams with the worst three records from the past season -- the New York KnicksCleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns -- each have the best chance of winning the draft lottery (14 percent) and the number one pick (aka Zion). The Chicago Bulls had the fourth-worst record and have a 12.5 percent chance of winning, followed by the Atlanta Hawks (10.5 percent) and Washington Wizards (9 percent) before dropping to a 6 percent chance for the New Orleans PelicansDallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies

The teams with the longest lottery odds are the Minnesota Timberwolves (3 percent), Los Angeles Lakers (2 percent), Charlotte Hornets (1 percent), Miami Heat (1 percent) and Sacramento Kings (1 percent). 

After drawings determine the top four teams, the other lottery teams will pick in inverse order of regular season record when the NBA Draft is held on June 20. See the NBA's draft lottery explainer for details.

How can I watch the NBA Draft Lottery?

The NBA Draft Lottery will be shown on ESPN. You can stream the lottery on WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app, but you need to log in with a pay TV account. If you don't have a cable or satellite subscription, you can livestream the games with a live-TV streaming service.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. 

Sling TV's $25-a-month Orange package includes ESPN. (The plan is currently discounted to $15 a month for the first three months.)

Hulu with Live TV costs $45 a month and includes ESPN.

PlayStation Vue's cheapest $45-a-month Access plan includes ESPN.

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes ESPN.

DirecTV Now's basic $50-a-month Core package includes ESPN.

All of the live-TV streaming services above offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid Internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.