On June 15th, 2019, the NBA landscape changed once again. The New Orleans Pelicans reached a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers by sending over Anthony Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. But there was more to the trade that included the 4th overall pick and 2 future 1st round picks. The Pelicans also managed to snag a top 8 protected pick in 2021 but becomes unprotected in 2022. To top all of that off, the Pelicans also received an unprotected swap in 2023, an unprotected first in 2024 and yet another unprotected swap in 2025 (per Woj).
David Griffin really has got off to an amazing start since Dell Demps was kicked to the curb, and Rob Pelinka pulled the trigger on the blockbuster trade since Magic Johnson was not there this time to prevent that from happening. So, who won the trade? Despite what it may seem, New Orleans has a strong case...
3. Pelicans Have A Young Core Primed For The Future
The Pelicans now have Lonzo Ball who is only 21 years old, Brandon Ingram who is also 21 years old. These two have a butt load of talent and are positionless players that will help the Pelicans right away. And come this Thursday the Pelicans will select Zion Williamson who will go hand and hand with Lonzo Ball. Zion and Lonzo are going to be a force to be reckoned with for the next 10 years if the pair are to stay together. Not to mention that Ingram will also be a great pairing with Zion. And we can't forget about the savvy vet Jrue Holiday will be there to mentor all three of the future superstars.
The potential starting lineup involves Lonzo at the 1, Jrue at the 2, Ingram at the 3, and Zion and his look-alike Julius Randle to round out the starting 5. This will be the lineup that you could call the death lineup just like the team that resides now in San Francisco.
Nobody should expect the Pelicans to win the title next year, but we can expect this core to make noise in next years playoffs. Give this team three years and they will be in the conversation for a title.
2. Pelicans Could Trade The 4th Overall Pick By Thursday Night
The Pelicans are not done just yet, the organization could explore trading the 4th overall pick come Thursday night. Expect a move to be made, because Ja will be going to the Grizzlies, and Barrett will be going to the Knicks. And on many draft boards, they have Darius Garland going 4th overall. It would not make sense drafting Garland at 4 since the Pelicans now have Lonzo to run the point. So, let's break down some potential suitors that can trade for the 4th overall pick.
The Pelicans could use a great shooting guard like Bradley Beal, and the Wizards are about overdue to blow it up. Washington should want the 4th overall pick because they need new young talent. The core for the Wizards time has come and gone and the time is now to make a change. So, why not trade for the 4th overall pick? This would clear cap space for the organization and would be a good step in the right direction having the 4th overall pick and the 9th come Thursday night. Brad Beal would have more opportunities within the Pelicans offense.
The Bulls have gone on record to say that they like Darius Garland and all that he has to offer. Zach LaVine could be another option for the Pelicans now that they own the 4th overall pick. But what will the Bulls give up? The Pels do have Lonzo, but Lavine could come off the bench as the two guards. This would give the Pelicans much-needed depth for next season. But it just depends on what the Pelicans want to do, do they want a good young player that has shown that he can be a star in this league, or do they go with someone else in this year's draft?
1. Pelicans Only Gave Up One Player
Pelicans only gave up Anthony Davis for talents that are potential All-Stars. David Griffin also gutted 7 years of picks from the Los Angeles Lakers. Pelicans have a bright future now with the young players and assets that were sent over in the package when a couple of weeks ago the organization was banking on Zion to be the future.
While he is still the future, he now also has a pair of teammates to grow with. And that will help Zion a lot come his rookie season. Although this is only the start of the madness, there is so much more to come.