Miami Heat

Zion Williamson declares for NBA draft. Here are the Miami Heat’s chances to get him

Zion sums up season at Duke: ‘It was like a movie’

Duke star Zion Williamson summarized his first, and what might be his only, season at Duke.
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Duke star Zion Williamson summarized his first, and what might be his only, season at Duke.

Surprising absolutely no one, Zion Williamson took to Instagram on Monday to declare for the 2019 NBA draft after wrapping up his freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils. The All-American power forward has been viewed as the consensus No. 1 pick for most most of the past six months, which has made him the prize for tanking NBA teams this season.

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Williamson’s future team won’t be determined, however, until next month when the league holds the annual NBA draft lottery in Chicago. The Miami Heat probably won’t get a chance to draft the freshman sensation, but there’s still a miniscule chance. The Heat finished tied for the NBA’s 12th worst record in the regular season and a random drawing determined it will have the 13th best odds to land the No. 1 pick — and, effectively, the rights to Williamson — in the draft. Miami has a 1.0 percent chance to land the top pick in June.

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The odds are slightly more likely for the Heat to get a top three pick, which would give them a shot at other All-Star talents -- likely Murray State Racers point guard Ja Morant or Duke shooting guard R.J. Barrett. The Heat has a 3.3 percent chance to grab a top three pick and a 4.8 percent chance to land in the top four. If Miami doesn’t move up, the Heat will stick at No. 13 or move down to No. 14 if the Sacramento Kings climb into the top four.

The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns are all tied with the best odds to land Williamson after the NBA overhauled its lottery system. All three teams, which finished with the three worst records in the league, have a 14.0 percent chance to pick No. 1. The Chicago Bulls have the fourth best odds at 12.5 percent, while the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, a pair of Southeast Division teams, have a 10.5-percent and 9.0-percent chance at No. 1, respectively.

Zion Williamson weighs in on whether he would still play for Duke if the one-and-done rule didn't exist, and he talks about the difference between playing in college and the NBA.