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The Pelicans Win the N.B.A.’s Draft Lottery and the Right to Select Zion Williamson

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

After months of breathless anticipation — and a race to the bottom of the standings — the New Orleans Pelicans won the N.B.A.’s draft lottery, earning the rights to the No. 1 pick in a draft that features one of the most highly touted consensus No. 1 picks in league history: Duke’s Zion Williamson.

The Pelicans were tied for the seventh best chance of getting the first pick after finishing the season with a record of 33-49. The Knicks (17-65), the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) and the Phoenix Suns (19-63) had each gone into the night with a 14 percent chance at the top pick in a revamped system that was designed to reduce the value of tanking, but the Knicks fell to No.