The New Orleans Pelicans shocked everyone after they won the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday after coming into the draw with just a six percent chance of landing the No.1 pick for the 2019 NBA Draft. They beat three teams – New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns – who had a 14 percent chance and were expecting to land the top pick.
Zion Williamson is expected to go as the top pick of the 2019 draft class and Pelicans general manager David Griffin is hoping the prospect of the elite talent arriving will convince Anthony Davis to remain in New Orleans. The power forward heavily dominated talks during the Draft Lottery with the Knicks admitting they could trade their potential top pick for Davis.
Though the Pelicans winning the lottery has thrown a spanner in the works, The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania reports that Davis’ stance has not changed despite the chance of playing with the country’s top prospect. The forward is still intent on leaving the Pelicans in the summer after requesting for a trade earlier in the year.
Griffin is not giving up hope and is hoping that by July Davis will see what the Pelicans are building and change his mind, but admits that the team is ready to make a decision in terms of trading their star player when the time comes. And the Draft Lottery has suddenly put the Los Angeles Lakers right back in contention to land Davis and could have a better chance than the Boston Celtics, who were considered favorites.
The Lakers, who were expecting to come away with the No. 11 pick after the lottery suddenly saw themselves move up the order and land the No. 4 pick, which is way better than Celtics’ No.14 pick. They can now offer the Pelicans another pick in the top 5 and if they add a couple of young players, the Los Angeles franchise could land their top trade target.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was delighted after moving up the order and admitted that they have spoken to scouts about the players they will be able to recruit. While he also made it clear that they will also “canvas” the league to see the value of the pick in terms of a trade.
“We had scouting meetings with (Director of Scouting and Assistant GM) Jesse Buss and our scouts, and of course our focus was more around 11, because that’s where the huge probability was resting. But now it shifts, what we can get at four. I will tell you there are some incredibly talented, impact players there that we’re going to study deeply. And then of course we’ll canvas the league and see what value that pick has,” Pelinka said, as quoted on Silver Screen and Roll.
The Celtics, however, will still be in the race as they could offer more than one pick after landing the No. 14, 20 and 22 picks for the 2019 NBA Draft. Moreover, they have a roster packed with talent and if they decide to include the likes of Jayson Tatum, they could still trump the other interested franchises.