From Darkness to Light: A Summer Update on The New Orleans Pelicans 2019
By Mario Jerez
Click aqui para español- >Una actualización de verano sobre los New Orleans Pelicans 2019
When Anthony Davis demanded a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, basketball fans in New Orleans had their worst fear realized.
The future looked bleak, and without Davis, the team would surely slip into the NBA’s cellar. Right? -Wrong.
New Orleans has rebounded with a wildly successful offseason. Under the leadership of owner, Gayle Benson, the team survived its darkest days, and the light at the end of the tunnel is already manifesting.
The Pelicans (finally) fired former general manager, Dell Demps and hired David Griffin. Griffin is the team’s new executive vice president of basketball operations and was the most sought after executive in the NBA this offseason.
The architect of the 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers surprised many when he left the broadcasting world and became the Pelicans’ new leader in the front office.
Griffin turned down offers from the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks in favor of New Orleans. Benson promised total dominion of the franchise, and he’s already made significant changes.
Since Griffin’s hiring, Benson has agreed to invest over $4.5 million into improvements to the team’s practice facility, including a renovated training room, and a new and improved medical staff. Griffin made an insistent list of demands before agreeing to the job, and they have all been met so far.
In one the most lopsided trades ever for a single NBA player, the Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to acquire Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and at least three first round picks from the Los Angeles Lakers. Also, the Pelicans will soon get another superstar to make up for Anthony Davis’ departure.
Despite having just a 6.0% chance to win the 2019 draft lottery, the Pelicans lucked out and were awarded the number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft. By the time this article is published, New Orleans will have almost certainly selected Duke’s Zion Williamson to be the franchise’s potential savior.
Williamson is the most hyped prospect since LeBron James in 2003, and Duke won 30 out of the 33 games he played in during his lone collegiate season. He possesses a rare blend of skills and athleticism that can see the 18-year-old quickly become one of the best players in the league.
Griffin still has to construct the rest of the team, and there’s plenty of work left to do. However, things are already looking up for the Pelicans.