2. Playing with Zion could convince Anthony Davis to stay
In a season of drama and exciting plays, one of the biggest storylines — and most frustrating — was Anthony Davis demanding a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. The move seemed to fracture chemistry for both the Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers, likely was the final straw in general manager Dell Demps losing his job, and made Davis out to be somewhat of a villain.
It was widely expected that the Pelicans would look to move Davis around the NBA Draft, and that may still be the case. Yet winning the first overall pick gives the Pelicans hope that Davis’ evaluation of the situation — a dead-end small market team going nowhere — could change now that a potential superstar is coming to town.
David Griffin, spoke confidently during and after the draft lottery that he believes the Pelicans have a strong case for convincing Davis to stay. Head coach Alvin Gentry mentioned multiple times at the lottery that Davis is still on the team. The organization has not yet resigned itself to trading its star.
Davis’ camp has reiterated that he wants out, per The Athletic‘s Shams Charania:
Could that stance change once he meets and speaks with Zion Williamson? Could the Pelicans wait it out and play the first half of the season with Davis still in the fold, risking better packages in return for a shot at keeping their star? “AD and Zion” could become the league’s most devastating frontcourt, and a Big 3 including Jrue Holiday looks formidable.
It would be a risk, and likely not something the Pelicans could figure out this offseason. That means a lot of risk waiting until the trade deadline. Yet Davis heading to another team would mean leaving a lot of money on the table, and it would mean losing the chance to play alongside the most highly touted prospect since…him.
It’s a long shot, but Zion Williamson is the type of prospect who could make that shot a reality. Drafting him makes such a best-case scenario remotely possible.