Coming into Tuesday night's NBA lottery, the New Orleans Pelicans didn't have the highest odds of securing the number one overall pick. Well, with the new way of doing the lottery, which did not award teams for tanking, the Pelicans were feeling lucky. And with a 56 year old angel given to him by a Pelicans fan in his pocket, David Griffin, the newly-hired vice president of basketball operations of the team, Griffin was thrilled as he accepted winning the draft lottery for his team. Now along with having to figure out what to do with Anthony Davis, the Pelicans now control the first overall pick.
The Pelicans will almost certainly draft Zion Williamson with the first pick. The former Duke freshman dominated the college scene with his uncanny athleticism for a man his size. Many think he will be a box office draw as soon as he hits the NBA. With Davis reiterating his desire to leave New Orleans even after the Pelicans getting the first overall pick, Zion allows the Pelicans to play the same way they currently play but with a younger, more durable player the Pelicans hope can grow into a franchise cornerstone. The Pelicans front office is still hoping they can keep Davis and pair him with Zion, but at the worst, they could at least have the best overall player in the draft play for them next season.
Another positive in regards to the Pelicans getting the first overall pick is the trade implications. The Pelicans could potentially get another pick in the draft this year. Two teams Anthony Davis is reportedly okay with accepting an extension with are the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks currently possess the third overall pick and the Lakers possess the fourth overall pick in this draft. Both teams have expressed interest in wanting to trade for Davis, with both dangling their best young players out there for the Pelicans. Griffin is more than likely not going to go for any deal and he doesn't have to because Davis is under contract for next season. However, if he gets a deal that allows the Pelicans to build fast, then he more than likely will jump on it. If that particular deal is agreed upon before the draft, the Pelicans have the potential to gain young, talented players via trade, Zion Williamson and another top prospect in this year's NBA Draft.
The Pelicans came into the draft with uncertainty surrounding them, but after the lottery, they have more options in what all they want to do. The interesting scenario is watching to see what, when or if they do something with Anthony Davis along with if they stick to the plan and draft Zion. You can never tell this day and age with some much unpredictability. One thing is for sure though: it will be fun to see how things pan out with New Orleans this offseason.