It’s beginning to look like Zion Williamson hit the Pelicans as a physical prodigy at the same time the team hired an executive prodigy. Just look what David Griffin has accomplished.
First he got lucky enough to get the first pick which will bring the Pelicans Williamson. That was luck, but still a good start.
But the Davis trade looks stunning. Not only did he manage to get the Lakers to go full George Allen and give up their immediate future in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, but also their not-too-distant future with, according to Larry Brown Sports:
- – LA’s 2021 first-round pick (top-8 protected). Becomes unprotected 2022 pick if it does not convey in 2021
- – right to swap first-round picks in 2023 (so if Lakers have higher pick in draft, Pelicans can swap spots)
- – 2024 unprotected first-round pick, with the option to defer unprotected pick to 2025
That’s six young players to add to an already young core even as LA ages - and he did this despite having not very many options. Los Angeles should have had more leverage. How did he pull this off exactly?
With the #4 pick in this year’s draft, on top of Williamson, he has leverage that Phoenix and Chicago, picking sixth and seventh, really need.
Several people have suggested that DeAndre Hunter is the logical pick but there’s an excellent chance they could still get him at #6 or #7 along with whatever they could leverage from the Suns or Bulls.
Or they could just move recent Laker Lonzo Ball.
Whatever they do, they have an excellent chance of still having a high lottery pick, another useful player and maybe some other draft options later - in addition to the three picks they fleeced LA out of.
It’s an amazing few weeks for the Pelicans and Griffin is making cases for the fastest start ever with a new franchise and NBA Executive of the Year when that comes up next. Just remarkable.