Category: NBA

Pelicans Draft Zion Williamson with 1st Pick

Some people say expect the unexpected. Well, the New Orleans Pelicans did the exact opposite of what these people say, making the most predictable move of the decade by drafting Duke superstar Zion Williamson with the 1st overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Williamson, a 6-foot-7 Power Forward, is looked at to be the next face of the NBA. He averaged 22.6 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists per game at Duke in just his freshman year. After putting up these monstrous stats, he decided to enter his name into the NBA draft pool, a move that was a surprise to nobody. Zion is undoubtedly the best player in this draft, and New Orleans is going to relish in the fact they landed him. He can do it all. He has fantastic bounce, soaring over opponents for highlight-reel dunks. He’s got a second-to-none post game. His combination of speed, size, and power make him almost unguardable. He also has definitive skills on the defensive side of the ball, shown off by his average of 1.8 blocks and 2 steals per game in college.

If there is anything negative anyone could say about Zion, it’s his lack of a jump shot. While he has improved his mid-range jumpshot, he still lacks skills as a 3-point shooter. He only made 33% of his three-pointers last season, granted he only shot about 2 per game. His shooting stroke will need to be improved, even slightly, to fully maximize his game at the next level.

Even without counting on him as a three-point shooter, New Orleans would have been ridiculous to pass up on Zion. He’s a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor. With the departure of Anthony Davis due to trade, Zion becomes the perfect young centerpiece of a rebuilding Pelicans franchise. Zion is ready to take the league by storm, and New Orleans is ready to see a return to winning basketball.

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Pelicans Trade Anthony Davis to Los Angeles Lakers

It’s been a long time coming for the New Orleans Pelicans. After leaks of Anthony Davis trade demands began just before the trade deadline in February, one question has been at the forefront of every Pelicans fans’ mind, “Where is New Orleans going to send AD?” Well, that question has just been answered.

On June 15th at 5:27 PM, infamous NBA Insider and reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the New Orleans Pelicans front office, led by newly acquired Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin, agreed to a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. In return for Davis, the Pelicans will receive Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, one of which being the 4th overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft.

The Pelicans pulled a great haul for a generational talent in Davis. All three players they received are 24 years are younger, giving the Pels great young talent to build around. Ball, while not a fantastic scorer, shows endless potential in his playmaking and defensive skills. Ingram, when healthy, is a skilled scoring wing, putting up 18 points per game last season. Hart also gives a needed fire off the New Orleans bench. Gaining the 4th pick means they will have now have two top-4 picks, as they won the lottery back in May to be awarded the 1st overall pick. The 1st pick will presumably be Duke superstar Zion Williamson, a 6 foot 7 wrecking ball preparing to wreck havoc upon the NBA. The 4th pick is not so predictable though, as there is multiple routes New Orleans could choose to explore.

Whatever the case may be for the future, it sure looks bright in the present. The Pelicans took a negative situation due to non-stop media coverage on the Davis drama and turned into one of the most electrifying trades the NBA has ever seen. There is no doubt this trade will impact New Orleans and Los Angeles in a huge matter. While the future is not certain, one thing is for sure. Anthony Davis is no longer a Pelican.

The Pelicans need to send Anthony Davis East, The Lakers don’t want Davis as bad as they think.

I don’t personally believe Lebron James and Anthony Davis would have great chemistry in Los Angeles together and I don’t think New Orleans should send him to LA as he wishes.

Let me explain. I believe if the Lakers do decide to gut their roster and potentially mortgage their future for Davis it has a very high chance of blowing up in their face.

What proof have we seen that Lebron James can work with other forwards?

Antwan Jamison? No.

Chris Bosh? Kind of?

Kevin Love? They played better when they weren’t on the floor together.

It’s a wonder to me why the Lakers aren’t targeting someone like Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Kemba Walker, or Kyrie Irving, someone who is proven to benefit from Lebron’s presence and adds something to it on the floor.

Besides that point alone, the Pelicans shouldn’t be in a hurry to let the Lakers try their chances this season with Anthony Davis and Lebron.

For one, what’s the benefit to New Orleans? Why feed the Lakers ego by giving them what they’re asking for? What ESPN and other media outlets fed into? Who benefits besides the Lakers in this situation?

I read that Dell Demps the GM of New Orleans wasn’t answering the Lakers phone calls and none of the offers the Lakers front office has given have not been prompted a counter offer, good for him.

Sadly for the Pelicans, the best potential trade in my eyes is now off the table I think.

The Knicks in what looks like an emotional move pulled the trigger seemingly prematurely on a Kristaps Porzingis trade. In a perfect world, the Pelicans could have acquired KP and the Knicks #1 pick for Davis, which would’ve given New Orleans a chance at Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett.

However, since that ship has sailed, the mainstream sports media is telling us that the Lakers and the Celtics are the only destinations. 

The Pelicans are not in the playoff hunt, and still, have assets like Nikola Mritic and Jrue Holiday.

If New Orleans is serious about competing in the near future, they should not be interested in what the Lakers have to offer. Anything short of their entire young core; Kuzma, Ball, Hart, Zubac and Ingram, + 2 first round picks they should hang up the phone.

The benefits of trading Davis east far outweigh the benefits of trading him to the Lakers, especially if they have any type of roster left after the trade. A team like the Celtics, may not be as interested because of recent comments by Anthony Davis’s father about Danny Ainge’s treatment of Isaiah Thomas.

However, if the Celtics are willing to roll the dice Davis, they do still have valuable draft capital to offer. If it’s somehow possible to take for Dell Demps to get a combination of Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jalen Brown from the Celtics with any type of draft capital for Anthony Davis and whoever, I think that is a much better trade for New Orleans.

Jayson Tatum showed us last year in the playoffs that he has the potential to be a franchise player. The Celtics to me look like they are giving the franchise to Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, or at least they are conflicted on it at the moment.

If the Celtics are willing to take the risk of losing Davis after the season, New Orleans should pull the trigger on that young core.

Another team that could want Davis is the Chicago Bulls.

I don’t know what Chicago would be willing to give up as far as young players like Wendell Carter Jr, and Lauri Markkanen. However, similar to New York, their 1st round pick is most likely going to be a lottery pick. Davis is from Chicago, and I’m sure the Bulls would love to land Davis.

The Raptors could offer an attractive package of core players and draft picks in an attempt to try to keep both Kahwi and Davis, although I don’t think that would be a well-advised move for the Raptors.

The point is that the New Orleans Pelicans, because of Anthony Davis’s public announcement, have a lot more leverage than the media is reporting.

I’m sure they aren’t angry with Davis as he did give them two contracts and the team doesn’t look like it has any sign of improving around Davis.

I think this is an excellent opportunity for the Pelicans to form a core around players like Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Jayson Tatum, and Jalen Brown or Kevin Knox and one of the Duke Stars. The possibilities are pretty good, and New Orleans doesn’t owe Anthony Davis, Lebron James, Rich Paul, or Magic Johnson any favors.

Collect young stars, give them the reigns, and watch a contender become formed in New Orleans for the first time. Build that Pelican brand on the backs of young assets, look the Suns, Mavericks, Hawks, and 76ers. Young cores that will be with the teams predictably for a long time.

Don’t give the city that stole Chris Paul away from you another chance at stealing your star player, win this trade, and send him east.

 Los Angeles is trying to use their fan base and media power to control the narrative, and suggest that New Orleans best offer is in LA, but there is some value in not letting the Lakers do this, again.

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Anthony Davis to The Celtics?

In what looks to be a move that is inevitable, The New Orleans Pelicans will be moving on from All-Star Anthony Davis at some point. Where Davis ends up is the millions dollar question, but if the Pelicans are willing to deal Davis, there is one deal that looks to be the best.

A potential deal with the Boston Celtics that would have the Pelicans getting Gordan Hayward, Jason Tatum, and multiple picks seem like the best package for the Franchise moving forward. Adding a young playmaker like Tatum and a solid veteran in Hayward could help the impactful blow of losing Anthony Davis.

Pelicans would be moving on from Davis’s 25,434,263 million dollar contract that would free up some extra cap space as well as trade Solomon Hill in the initial deal would also relive their cap of $12,500,00. Hayward is making $31,214,295 this season, but Tatum will only cost $6,700,800. In return, you are getting a better player overall in Tatum over Hill, but the total cap dollar will stay the same mostly.

If the deal is going to be done, the Pelicans should act now if not then wait for this situation to resolve after the season. Either way, it definitely appears that Davis will be wearing another jersey soon as a Celtic or another team.


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Pelicans Beat Rockets Without Multiple Starters

In what was expected to be an easy win for the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Rockets 121-116, even without 4 of their 5 starters. Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, E’Twuan Moore, and Elfrid Payton were all out due to injuries. Key bench player Nikola Mirotic was also ruled out.

The Pelicans were definitely not expected to win this contest. Frank Jackson made his first career start, and the Rockets had both Chris Paul and James Harden healthy. Even without 5 of their top-7 players, the Pelicans were able to hold off the potent offensive attack of Harden and the Rockets. Although Harden scored 37 points, a lot of those points came in the fourth quarter when the Pelicans had strong control of the game.

Jrue Holiday showed why he should be an All-Star this season, as he became the first guard in the history of the NBA to record at least 17 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 blocks. Jahlil Okafor led the Pelicans in scoring with 27 points, while also recording 12 rebounds. Okafor has been fantastic the last 5 games, recording 4 double-doubles and scoring over 15 points in each of the contests. He’s also averaging 2.6 blocks per game over this 5 game span. Many other players stepped up as well, as 6 total Pelicans scored in the double-digits.

The Pelicans played some great defense against one of the better teams in the league. It was a great win tonight, mainly to prove to the league that New Orleans is more than Anthony Davis, something fans truly needed after Davis’ trade request earlier this week. While it is still unforeseen what the future holds for New Orleans, if the Pelicans play like a team and work together like they did against the Rockets, they may be better than everyone expects.

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