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Chasing Zion: The 2019 NBA Draft

NBA Draft day is here!

It’s no secret that top sportsbooks, along with Las Vegas sportsbooks, have Zion Williamson going No. 1 overall.

The New Orleans Pelicans were the lucky team that pulled the ace out of the middle of the deck to win the draft lottery. The loss of Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers suddenly isn’t so brutal.

The Pelicans are about to be re-upped. Apparently, they agreed to a deal that would send star Power Forward/Center Anthony Davis to the LA Lakers in return for three Round 1 picks along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. It should also be noted that one of those picks would be the 4th overall, giving the Pelicans the No. 1 and No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

As far as we’ve known for the last few days, that is the deal that was agreed to. And as such, the Pelicans could skip the rebuild process and move directly into a competitive position in the Southwest Division. But the Lakers are trying to clear up some cap space to maybe a max salary offer – do they have their sites set on Durant or Kahwi?

No.1 and No. 4

Rest assured that everyone is chasing Zion. No, that’s not the name of a new reggae documentary; it’s the dozens of phone calls that Trajan Langdon, David Griffin, and Gayle Benson are getting to try and finagle ‘lucrative’ trade arrangements for Zion. But it’s hard to imagine any situation where the Pelicans would trade away their No. 1 pick. Zion Williamson has too much potential to trade off for any of the current star talent that will become available during this free agency. But what about Number four pick?

De’Andre Hunter would make a fine addition to the team as a two-way wing with great scoring potential and elite-level defense. But will they attempt to trade their No. 4 pick with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a later round pick and the stipulation that the Cavs leave Garland on the board? Or, will they just take Darius Garland at No. 4, that is if the New York Knicks don’t snag up Garland with their No. 3 pick – maybe they trade-up a spot with New York?

That all depends on whether they keep Lonzo ball and Jrue Holiday. If they do, it’s likely that they’ll go for the swing player. But, who knows what deals they might be able to cook up for some of the Lakers talent that’s on its way over.

Perhaps the Pelicans will take Jarret Culver out of Texas Tech to build depth at shooting guard? There are so many ifs, and buts that it can get mentally exhausting thinking it all through.

Even as is, with Lonzo Ball at point guard, Jrue Holiday at shooting guard/Point Guard –the Bulls and Celtics are both courting Holiday–, Zion Williams at forward, Ingram at small forward, they just need to get their hands on somebody to back up Okafur, or an even better idea, a center that is good enough that Okafur becomes the backup. The team will be an offensive powerhouse, if not a bit weak on defense.

It will be interesting to watch the moves unfold over the next couple of days and see what the Pelicans do on Thursday on Draft Day.

Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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