CHICAGO — New Orleans bucked the odds and won the NBA draft lottery, and now will have the first chance at choosing Zion Williamson next month.

The Pelicans won the lottery for the first time since 2012, when they selected Anthony Davis. And the lottery win comes after a season when Davis wanted a trade – something that might not seem so appealing to him now, not with Williamson likely coming to New Orleans.

Memphis will choose second, New York third and the Los Angeles Lakers will pick fourth.

Williamson says he has never been to New Orleans. That might soon change.

“It’s just another positive event for us,” new Pelicans general manager David Griffin said.

The Pelicans were the biggest winners – and the Grizzlies and the Lakers had reason to celebrate as well. They all moved up, much to the chagrin of teams like New York, Cleveland and Phoenix. The Suns, Cavs and Knicks all had the best chance of winning the lottery, and neither even got as much as a No. 2 pick.

76ERS: One month after being noncommittal about bringing back Coach Brett Brown, 76ers managing partner Josh Harris said Tuesday morning that the coach’s job was never on the line.

Harris told ESPN on Monday night that Brown, a South Portland native, would be back next season. Tuesday, seated next to General Manager Elton Brand at their end-of-season press conference, Harris said, “A lot’s been made about this in the press, and truthfully, you can’t believe what you read or what you are hearing. Brett’s job was never in jeopardy.

“We were very focused on the playoff, and we declined to get into a lot of questions people were asking us.”

On April 13, Harris was given an opportunity to endorse Brown, but was noncommittal before a 111-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs.

Harris had stated that it would be a problem if the Sixers didn’t do well in the postseason. So he was asked to clarify that statement, and if Brown would be his coach next season no matter what happened in the playoffs.

The managing partner said Tuesday he has been constantly in contact with Brown, including Monday night.

“We have been and continue to be excited that Brett is leading us,” Harris said.

TRAIL BLAZERS: U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden wants to ensure that Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, a Turkish star whom Turkey wants arrested for his criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be able to safely travel to Canada for a possible NBA championship series against the Toronto Raptors.

The Oregon senator wrote Tuesday to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking that his government facilitate Kanter’s safe passage to and from Canada if the Blazers advance to the title series.

“I also urge your government to state publicly that it will not comply with any Interpol red notice meant to interfere with Mr. Kanter’s livelihood and to intimidate him and his family back in Turkey,” Wyden wrote.

Wyden is a fan of his hometown team, often attending games, and he appeared in photos alongside the player who helped push the Blazers past the Denver Nuggets to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

MAVERICKS: Retired Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki was honored Tuesday by Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas lawmakers for his outstanding 21-year career with the same NBA team.

Nowitzki was in Austin to visit Abbott, who introduced the German-born star as the greatest player in Mavericks history and one of the greatest in the league.

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