Milwaukee-Toronto and Golden State-Portland weren’t exactly the NBA Conference Finals matchups that big-market frontrunners were rooting for. Then on Tuesday night, the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft was awarded to a small-market team, the New Orleans Pelicans, and not the high-profile New York Knicks. If all of that wasn’t enough, the NBA’s most notable player (LeBron James) and franchise (Los Angeles Lakers) didn’t even make the playoffs.
When is the NBA going to catch a break this year?
Zion Williamson, the best thing since sliced bread, was visibly devastated upon learning the Knicks wouldn’t have the first pick. Just as we’ve seen many times, this draft lottery can be a brutal sense of reality.
The Pelicans will likely take Williamson with the first pick. Then they could possibly find themselves a lucrative offer for perennial All-Star Anthony Davis. New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry said that he’ll try to make it work with AD, but let’s be realistic here – it won’t.
“The Brow” could cause more headaches or just simply bolt NOLA at the end of next season. The Pelicans would be wise to take one of the offers coming their way. Not to mention, Julius Randle will likely be heading out of town when free agency rolls around this offseason. Getting more pieces for this roster will be more crucial than ever.
While the Pelicans have put themselves in a nice position for a rebuild, the Knicks and Lakers will be looking for a way to make their heralded franchises whole once again.
Big Summer Ahead
For the Knicks, it seems like an easy answer – sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Things looked a lot more appealing before Tuesday, with Zion as a part of the plan, but one rumor has the Knicks offering the No. 3 pick along with nearly their entire roster for AD.
Sure, that would solve one problem, but how’s the rest of that roster looking? Well, they’d have a few months to figure it out, just like the Miami Heat did with their Big Three.
LeBron In LA
Speaking of that Miami Big Three, one of its former members is looking to rectify things out in Los Angeles. The Lakers had an absolutely brutal season. LeBron has vowed to bring them back to the promised land – another task that is much easier said than done.
There has been nothing but chaos going on in the Lakers’ front office so any dreams of landing a max free agent might not be coming as easily as it did back in the day. They’ll probably have to settle for Jimmy Butler, which isn’t such a bad thing, or trade a big chunk of their roster in order to land AD.
Luckily, the Lakers landed the No. 4 pick in the draft, which gives them a little more leverage in trade talks.
There’s no way that the 2019-20 NBA season could end up being more disappointing than this one. After all, it can’t get much worse, and we’ve got too much to look forward to!