Despite all odds, and all the media projections, something pretty unexpected happened last night in Chicago. The No.1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft ended up in New Orleans.
All the talks about New York and the Knicks, and teaming up with Kyrie and Durant are now over, and to be honest, they were so hyped without too many reasons. Knicks had 14% of the chances to reach the No.1 pick, and yet all the media were behaving like it was a done deal.
Now, it seems that Zion is heading for the Big Easy, which makes everything more interesting and more complicated. The first question which comes up is ‘what will happen with Anthony Davis?’
Does he still want to go? Is he going to stay, or be traded? Many enigmas are surrounding his future.
According to Alvin Gentry, the Eyebrow is still in New Orleans, and it seems that everything will be “fine” as he said.
“He is on our roster. All of that will take care of itself. I’m not worried about it. I know Griff has some plans to talk to him, and it will be fine.”
Landing Zion next to him is really making the Pelicans look very attractive, and the newly appointed executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, wants to use that and build the new Pelicans which can compete for the title.
“From my perspective, I want Anthony Davis to want what we’re doing,” said Griffin who was the maker of Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship team. “I want Anthony Davis to want to be part of this.”
But he also added that if Davis wants to go out, that they “will deal with it.” It couldn’t be better for the Pelicans who are now in a win-win position.
If Davis decided to go, the franchise will no doubt get a massive deal in return. Along with Zion, that could be the start of a new era for this team.
Los Angeles Lakers, for instance, are now in a position to offer a much better deal than during the winter, as they also have the No.4 pick from the draft. Boston has to decide which players are going to be traded, and which one will stay, and there is a lot of potentials to see that trade also.
But the Pelicans are not going to depend solely on Antony Davis trade. The franchise itself will also become more attractive, as we said earlier, because of Zion. Griffin counts on that too, and it could be of great help in building a powerful roster.
“I want it to be something that people want to be part of,” he said. “Maybe this jump-starts the process. Elite talent likes to play with elite talent.”
The hype surrounding Zion Williamson was last time seen when LeBron James came into the league. His talent is a “one in a generation,” as some would say, and there is no doubt that his arrival would make an impact on any team in the league.
After New Orleans got the No.1 pick at the draft lottery, odds on them winning the title fell from 300-1 to 25-1. And the guy didn’t step on the court. He wasn’t even picked.
During his freshman year, Zion averaged 22.6 points and had 8.9 rebounds with 68% from the field. His impact was immeasurable on both ends of the court, and having 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks he established himself as the best two-way player in college basketball.
He won the National College Player of the Year award pretty easily, leaving all the competition behind him. Right from the moment Zion came to Duke, there was no dilemma about his potential. The way he destroyed his opponents hasn’t been seen in a long time, and to be dominant like that as a freshman, only increased his value.
It is up to the Pelicans to exploit this opportunity. With or without Davis onboard, they’ve hit the jackpot, and now have to be smart and use it in the best possible way.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.