Taking it back all the way to the Chris Paul trade, the Pelicans have been on the brink of potential. Lucking into the biggest rookie since LeBron James, or I guess Ben Simmons?, is something only that New Orleans voodoo could concoct.
If you don’t remember, Chris Paul wanted out of New Orleans, and he wanted to be a Laker, however the NBA owned the Pelicans at the time and blocked them from sending CP3 there that would’ve given them Kevin Martin (exceptional scorer), Lamar Odom (still really good at the time), Goran Dragic (huge upside point guart) and Luis Scola (effective big man). Instead making the then Hornets immediately competitive, David Stern vetoed the trade and accepted a trade to the Clippers giving the Pelicans Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, and Al Farouq-Aminu. This trade, however, in the long run fell into New Orleans’ best interest because it garnered them the number one pick in 2012 which happened to be Anthony Davis.
As long as you haven’t been living under a rock, Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans and badly. AD has voiced, through Rich Paul, his frustrations with management and his desire to play for a contender, more importantly, in Los Angeles. Things went sour at the deadline and the relationship between AD and the Pelicans was awkward and non-existent, however new GM David Griffin wants a chance to woo Davis to stay, the only question is, can Zion do that in 3 months.
The city of New Orleans and their fandom for the Saints and LSU Tigers is unheralded, however their support for the Pelicans has been very hot and cold based on success and I can’t blame them. They only got the team in 2002 and it’s been nothing but turmoil ever since. They’ve gotten star players through the draft and trades but have not been able to put pieces around them to see them succeed like other small market teams i.e. Oklahoma City. Zion will assuredly revive this fan base and if AD gives them a shot, he may just stay. He may also just leave them high and dry.
So where do the Pelicans go from here in terms of Anthony Davis? If I’m David Griffin I’m on the phone with him right now, and if the feeling is the same, I’d have the Celtics, Lakers, Knicks and Grizzlies on the phone. The Celtics, even with their turmoil, remain to have the best package available, but the Grizzlies could give them a duo that they could actually keep together. If they could get Ja Morant to pair with Zion, thats a recipe for potential success for the next 10 years.
So congratulations New Orleans, you got your next man. I, for one, can’t wait to see the Zion dance all Mardi Gras long.