Look away now New York. The New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA Draft Lottery. Zion Williamson will be a Pelican.
The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery has a high chance of turning out to be a pivotal moment in the history of not only the Knicks or the Pelicans, but the entire NBA. The reason being is the transformative talent of Zion Williamson. Not since LeBron James in 2003 have we seen such potential and hype in a rookie. The forward from Duke boasts an insane vertical, dominating defensive talent and an array of other talents such as passing, dunking and finishing through contact.
The lucky city to be welcoming Zion this upcoming season (unless they do something completely and utterly asinine) will be New Orleans.
So, what does this mean for the landscape of the NBA?
Well, New Orleans having the number one pick has thrown a spanner in the works for the Anthony Davis trade, combine this with LA obtaining the number four pick and you’ve just thrown the cat amongst the pigeons.
One option is, upon hearing that the Pelicans have been blessed by the basketball gods, Davis decides to remain in New Orleans to play alongside Jrue Holiday, Zion and Julius Randle. Although, sounding tempting on paper, this is unlikely. The damage done by Davis with not only the organisation, but the fans and the city of New Orleans, is borderline irredeemable at this point. However, fans are often fickle and the dysfunction in LA has taken the shine off the Lakers.
Speaking of the Lakers, LA received the number 4 pick. Unlike NO, the Lakers can trade this pick.
Looking at the assets the Lakers have, the number 4 pick is now the most valuable. Out of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram (and his blood clot problem), teams would much rather have the number 4 pick over any of those players. Whether the pick is the answer to the conundrum that is the Davis trade is yet to be seen. But one thing is for sure, the Lakers now have a lot of interesting phone calls to make.
Flying from the West Coast to the East Coast, the lottery ended in tragedy for the New York Knicks.
The idea of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Zion taking the court together in NY for 2019 excited many a Knicks fan. Finally, after near 25 years of mediocrity (Melo’s play-off run aside) the Knicks saw light at the end of the tunnel. But now that tunnel has collapsed and that hopeful Knick fan is buried under rubble, praying for a mixture of Irving, Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson to decide to join the James Dolan Knicks – yeah, depressing.
Other takeaways include a tough pill to swallow for Cleveland ending up at five, delaying the post-LeBron rebuild. The Bulls had dreams of reliving the young D-Rose days with Zion dunking on the league dashed. Perhaps more painful than the Knicks getting 3 was Washington ending up with 9, John Wall‘s contract and a money-hungry Bradley Beal to deal with. Washington is gonna be in a dark place for a while. And finally, the Luka Doncic trade for the Hawks turned out to be terrible with the Hawks ending up the 10th pick.
No matter what happens in the weeks and months to come. One thing is for sure – Zion Williamson will be at the centre of everything.