What a week it has been for the Pelicans. They must be relishing the new NBA draft lottery system that’s been introduced.
With just a 6% chance of getting the top pick, the Pelicans won the first pick of the 2019 NBA Draft . Most analysts of the sports expect Duke’s star freshman, Zion Williamson to go first in the draft. It means he’s taking his trade to New Orleans. This could set up a talented trio of Williamson, Davis and Jrue Holiday. Zion, for the Pelicans at the worse can be a perennial All-Star player. Best case he can be their next franchise face.
David Griffin, the new vice president of Basketball operations now has an interesting situation brewing in front of him. Last season, close to trade deadline day, the face of the franchise, Anthony Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans. The Los Angeles Lakers aggressively tried to pursue a trade but it fell through. The Celtics are another team that was interested in pairing Davis with Kyrie Irving. Boston have an enticing mix of draft picks and young players to trade .
Change in Fortunes?
The situation which seemed bleak for the Pelicans might now be in their favour. Firstly, no team can offer Anthony Davis a super max contract. That could be used along with the fact with the first pick, they can provide him with a dynamic frontcourt partner. This would replicate the brief partnership that Davis had formed with Demarcus Cousins.
If Davis is unlikely to change his mind by the middle of the 2019-20 season, a trade with Boston would be the best course of action. Boston could give up a mixture of Jaelyn Brown, Jayson Taytum and multiple picks that they have, allowing the Pelicans to build around Zion.
There is still a ways to go, but the tables have turned in the favour of the Pelicans. They are now in a strong position to try and contend for the playoffs in the upcoming season, instead of going back into a rebuilding mode.