The NBA's draft lottery reform worked. Instead of rewarding teams that lose on purpose to increase their chances at getting a higher pick, the new rules — which decrease the odds for the league's three worst teams — allowed the New Orleans Pelicans, who were not a good team this year, but at least tried to be, to receive the number one pick.
That means the Pelicans, not the league-worst New York Knicks (despite fan attempts to will the ping pong balls their way), will get to draft this year's grand prize, phenom Zion Williamson. The Pelicans and their fans are undoubtedly thrilled, but the addition of Williamson to the team will provide some interesting fallout — both for the franchise and the NBA as a whole.
The Pelicans already have a bona fide superstar, Anthony Davis, himself a former no. 1 overall pick. But Davis requested a trade during the season, believing he'd have better opportunities to win a championship elsewhere. Now that Williamson is in the fold, though, could Davis change his mind and stay? A combination of Davis, Williamson, and elite guard Jrue Holiday would likely turn some heads.
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But The Athletic's Shams Charania said he doesn't believe Davis has changed his stance.
While basketball fans may not get to watch Williamson and Davis play together, New Orleans is still basking in riches. If Williamson lives up to the hype, trading Davis will no longer set the franchise back as drastically. Instead, the young players and draft picks they would acquire in a Davis trade will be paired with Holiday and Williamson, accelerating New Orleans' rebuilding project. Not a bad problem to have.
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