The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery is behind us but the effects it leaves behind may change the shape of the NBA landscape with more than just what position teams draft.
New Orleans jumped up to the first pick despite only having a 6% chance at doing so, while Cleveland and Phoenix fell back and New York came so close to changing the trajectory of their franchise.
The Anthony Davis sweepstakes just got a whole lot more interesting
When Anthony Davis requested a trade through his agency Klutch sports, New Orleans didn’t make any rash moves and trade their disgruntled star immediately. They decided to wait and see if the offers improved, not taking a liking to half the Lakers’ roster or the Knicks collection of picks.
Now, that decision looks like the best move they could’ve ever possibly made.
Reports were coming out before the draft that the Knicks would trade Zion, should they select him, for Anthony Davis at the NBA Draft. But now, the Pelicans can have their cake and eat it too.
They can either keep AD, see how he pairs with Zion, maybe the two once-in-a-generation first overall bigs have something in common. Or they can trade AD and not have to worry about top-end 2019 draft picks.
Pelicans Executive President of Basketball Operations David Griffin, who luckily took the job in mid-April can take his pick of offers for AD and even has the leverage to wait it out until next season’s trade deadline if he wants.
If Boston is still interested, a package with Jaylen Brown, their 14th draft pick and filler salary might work, or New York can offer their third pick in this year’s draft potentially reuniting Duke teammates R.J. Barrett or even better, take the Lakers’ now boosted offer…
Lakers jumped to third, but might’ve jumped into a second star
But the lottery is an antidote that can fix even the saddest of franchises. Rising from the projected 11th to fourth now adds to what they can offer New Orleans for AD.
Just to confirm, an offer from the Lakers would involve that pick, a Ball family member (father not included), Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.
If the trade happens after free agency, the team would be able to sign a max free agent and then trade for AD. It’ll all depend on whether New Orleans likes their offer enough to A) wait for them to sign someone, or B) be willing to trade with L.A.
Zion and his NBA future
It’s no secret that Zion Williamson wanted to go to New York. He was apparently “whisked away” from the lottery room after New York didn’t receive the number one pick. But that’s just the thing: it’s a lottery, even though the Knicks had a tied-first chance at getting the first pick and Zion, it wasn’t a sure thing.
Many people have suggested Zion go down the avenue taken by some other professional sports players and force his way out of a situation.
Since he hasn’t technically declared for the draft, the option is still there for him to return to Duke for another season. But that wouldn’t be likely and as fans, we want to see him play against professionals.
Another Duke star once pulled off what people are suggesting. Danny Ferry was drafted second overall by the Clippers in 1989 but he didn’t want to play for the Clippers, instead, he went to Rome to play professionally in Europe. By the time he came back he was traded to the Cavaliers, problem solved… kind of.
It would be too much of a waste for him to play elsewhere but the NBA.
Another option for him is to request a trade Kobe Bryant-style. But it seems unlikely that New Orleans would give us such a generational talent just because he asked. They didn’t budge when the last generational talent asked for a trade.
Neither of these two avenues would reasonably happen, it’s too much face and money to lose.
With New Orleans looking to be out of their bottom-dweller status, hiring David Griffin and hiring Aaron Nelson, a well-regarded trainer, things might be trending on the up in the Smoothie King Center and quickly.
Atlanta lost the Trae-Luka trade
When Trae Young rounded into blistering form to finish the 2018/19 NBA season, it put the draft night trade with Dallas in question about who truly won. If both players were equals by the end of the season and Dallas gave up a valuable 2019 first to move up, who got more value?
But the top-five Dallas pick fell to tenth on draft night and now Trae Young plus a mid-lottery pick deal for Luka Doncic is now a Trae Young plus late-lottery pick.
Maybe, armed with picks eight and ten, the Hawks can move up, but Atlanta looks like a big loser in this draft going in with the fifth-best odds at the first pick and leaving with eight kinda hurts, just check Trae’s twitter feed.
Memphis has a much clearer vision
Yes, there kind of was a vision/passing pun in that title. But by getting the second pick in the draft, the Grizzlies can now draft consensus number two player available, Ja Morant, the point guard out of Murray State.
Apparently “locked in” to Morant with their pick, Memphis can draft another high lottery pick to complement their 19-year-old standout Jaren Jackson Jr. who despite not playing much due to injuries, proved he had what it took to be an effective player in the league.
They dodged owing their pick to Boston in this draft if it fell below eighth and still have obligations in the future, but being able to pick their point guard of the future now is well-worth not sacrificing their pick now.