The NBA Draft Lottery saw an underdog snag the chance to draft Duke standout Zion Williamson with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft later this summer. Despite just a six percent chance to land the top spot, the New Orleans Pelicans jumped into the top four and beat out the likes of the Grizzlies, Lakers and Knicks to have their pick of prospects in Brooklyn in June.
It was a massive coup for David Griffin, now at the helm of a Pelicans organization that’s had one of its most trying seasons in franchise history. Anthony Davis, a former No. 1 overall pick himself, requested a trade and hoped to be dealt before the trade deadline. That didn’t happen, though, and Davis was forced to take the floor in a limited role as the season wound down.
When the news spread on Tuesday that the Pelicans could draft Williamson in June, some wondered if Davis would reconsider his trade request. After all, Griffin had publicly said that he hopes to convince Davis to stay in NOLA, both for this season and beyond with a new contract. But according to reports, Davis hasn’t reconsidered his future in New Orleans just yet.
It might be disappointing for Pelicans fans to hear, but you can only win so much in May when you’re not actually in the NBA Playoffs. Getting Williamson is a seismic win for a franchise that seems destined to lose Davis eventually. Being gifted a new franchise player by ping pong balls is a gift: suddenly getting Davis to reconsider would be a giving bonanza.
Still, there’s a long time between now and next July 1, when Davis would presumably make his decision about where he signs his next contract to play basketball. If Griffin thinks the team can convince him to stay, he won’t trade the forward and Davis is likely to take the floor with Williamson in New Orleans. For Davis, maybe seeing Williamson in action will be the biggest factor in potentially changing his mind.