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Zion Williamson Is The Pelicans' Reward For Wasting Anthony Davis

Photo: Streeter Lecka (Getty)

The Knicks, Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Lakers all had a shot at Zion Williamson heading into the final reveals of the NBA Draft Lottery, and the sensational Duke forward might have gotten stuck in the most disastrous possible situation. The New Orleans Pelicans—who had a six percent chance of winning the lottery—will get the number-one pick in the 2019 Draft, and if the career of Anthony Davis so far is any indication, that’s bad news for Zion.

The Pelicans drafted Davis seven years ago, and even though he’s become a top-five NBA stud in that time, they’ve only won one playoff series with him as their centerpiece. While DeMarcus Cousins’s Achilles injury in 2018 could be partially to blame for the lack of recent success (though it’s not like the Pelicans could have beaten the Warriors in the second round with a healthy Cousins anyway), the organization has completely failed to build a solid roster around a generational superstar, and that build-up of frustration led to the mess that was Davis’s trade demand earlier this year.

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It’s not that the Pelicans are guaranteed to destroy Zion’s will to live, but the excitement around the franchise right now is basically the same as the excitement when the team won the right to draft Davis, and given what happened afterwards, that’s pretty depressing. It’s unclear if Davis will actually, finally get traded this offseason or if the Pels will try to pair the two on the court as if Zion is Cousins 2.0. But whatever GM David Griffin does, Zion better hope he learned from Dell Demps’s mistakes.

Here’s the full order for the draft:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. New York Knicks
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. Phoenix Suns
  7. Chicago Bulls
  8. Atlanta Hawks
  9. Washington Wizards
  10. Atlanta Hawks
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves
  12. Charlotte Hornets
  13. Miami Heat
  14. Boston Celtics

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