Opinion: The Pelicans need to work towards a future without Anthony Davis
On Tuesday, the New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA Draft lottery. With that pick, they are expected to select Duke's Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick on June 20. Williamson is seen as a can't miss prospect and the next superstar to come to the league. Should Zion be happy to play in New Orleans?
Williamson's stepfather cleared the rumors on Zion not wanting to play for New Orleans. "We're excited about that. One thing that Zion has always been taught is to accept the things that you can't change. You change the things that you can change. This is one of the things that he had nothing to do with. It's the process of the NBA. Certainly, we're excited about the Crescent City down there in New Orleans. There has been a lot of speculation, but that is nothing that we have even considered."
Winning the draft lottery actually put the Pelicans in an interesting situation. Trade rumors have run wild with the team. The Pelicans could try to keep Anthony Davis and put him alongside Williamson. Or they could trade AD and put young players around Williamson and build for the future.
If you look at the landscape of the Pelicans, they should seek the latter. Davis is unlikely to re-sign with the team as he is in a win-now state of mind. The team would be best served looking at three particular trade options that would give Williamson and the Pelicans the best chance to win in the future.
The only starting point for a trade involving The Brow is Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown. Boston owns a 2020 top-six protected pick from the Memphis Grizzlies. That could become unprotected in 2021. Two budding stars and a high draft pick may be the trick to get AD in the green. A line of Tatum, Brown, and Williamson would put the Pelicans back in playoff contention.
Los Angeles Lakers
We are back to where it all started with a possible trade involving Lakers' young core of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Throw in the 4th overall pick and it's a better package than the one in February. That's possibly a starting line up for one player with Williamson playing the small forward or the power forward position.
New York Knicks
The Knicks would have to give up at least Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr, and the No. 3 pick which will probably be used to draft Duke's RJ Barrett. A reunion with Williamson could make the transition into the league easy for both players. They dominated college basketball together.