How It Started
The date was May 14th, 2019. That night in Chicago, the NBA Draft Lottery took place. The Pelicans had a 6% chance at winning the number one pick and the Lakers had a 2% chance of winning the number one pick. Although these teams didn’t have great odds at landing a top pick, they both ended up with a top pick. The first shock of the lottery was when the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns both didn’t land a top-three pick. It was a shock that the Cavs and Suns didn’t land in the top three picks because both teams had the highest chances (14%, along with the Knicks) to land the number one pick. After news of the Cavs and Suns falling out of the top 3, the Lakers then gained the fourth overall pick. After the Lakers won the number four pick, three teams had a shot at the number one pick, the New York Knicks (14%), Memphis Grizzlies (6%), and New Orleans Pelicans (6%). The Knicks then lost out on the first overall pick by gaining the third overall pick. The Pelicans then won the lottery after the Grizzlies were announced to have the second pick.
The Anthony Davis Trade
On June 15th, 2019, the Lakers and Pelicans agreed to a blockbuster trade. The Lakers received Anthony Davis while the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the 2019 fourth overall draft pick, 2021 first-round pick (top-eight protected), unprotected 2024 first-round pick, and the right to swap 2023 and 2025 first-round picks. This trade was a great trade for the Lakers because they now have a star to pair with LeBron James and are a more attractive free agent landing spot. This was a great package for the Pelicans because they will have a dominant young core for years to come.
The New Orleans Blue Devils
Before the Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans already had Jahlil Okafor (2015 Duke player) and Frank Jackson (2016 Duke player). After winning the draft lottery, the Pelicans are 100% expected to take Zion Williamson. The Anthony Davis trade gives the Pelicans another Duke product in Brandon Ingram (2016 Duke player). If the Pelicans do keep the fourth overall pick or obtain another 2019 first-round pick, they could have the chance at another Blue Devil. If RJ Barrett falls past the third pick and the Pelicans keep the pick, expect RJ to be a Pelican. Even if RJ is taken in the top three and the Pelicans keep their pick, they could draft Cam Reddish. If the Pelicans trade a few spots back, they could still potentially have the chance at drafting Cam Reddish. If the Pelicans are able to draft RJ or Cam, 33% of their roster would have played at Duke.
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