New Orleans Pelicans’ lottery odds: Where do the Pels stand?

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

If you got excited after the New Orleans Pelicans trounced the LA Clippers, then you must not have paid much attention this season.

The last few games have epitomized the season as a whole, as the Pels got blown out by the last-place Timberwolves before clobbering the Cavaliers and Clippers and then blowing one in the last five minutes to the Trail Blazers.

It’s been a frustrating and confusing season for the fans, who have no idea which team is going to show up from night to night or whether this team should be buyers or sellers at the deadline.

Expectations were probably too high for this team, as they are still young, have a new coach and a roster that is clearly not complete.

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Zion Williamson has been playing at an All-NBA level and Brandon Ingram has been his Robin, but they still need more defenders and bench players before they’ll be ready to make the leap into the playoffs.

It’s far more likely that they will be back in the lottery, so let’s take a look at where they stand.

What are the New Orleans Pelicans’ lottery odds?

The New Orleans Pelicans are tied for the 8th worst record in the NBA at 17-23, same as the Oklahoma City Thunder who are supposed to be tanking.

This gives the Pelicans a reasonable 23.5 percent chance at landing a top-four pick and a long shot 5.3 percent chance at the first pick overall.

The 2021 NBA Draft has a lot more consensus talent, especially in the top-five, so if the Pels could land one of those picks it will have made this frustrating season worth it.

Just for fun, I ran the draft simulator five times and the Pels landed in the top-five three times, getting as high as the number two pick.

The odds were worse when they landed Zion, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Pels end up there again.

The New Orleans Pelicans are rebuilding and could use some more impact talent whether it comes in the draft, free agency or trades.

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