Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans are expected to select Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick.
With Williamson, the Pelicans can start rebuilding around him after trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the Davis trade that could be completed on July 6, the Pelicans will receive Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and multiple draft picks — including the No. 4 pick.
Williamson was asked about potentially teaming up with Ball and Ingram on the Pelicans for the 2019-20 NBA season, according to Ben Golliver of The Washington Post:
“Lonzo… I think he’s a great PG. Very old school and I respect that about him. And Brandon Ingram… I think he’s a bucket-getter. He can give you 25-30 a night in the right situation.”
As the Pelicans have established a young core, the Lakers are trying to fill out their roster with some second round draft picks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Lakers are pursuing the purchase of second-round picks in Thursday’s NBA draft, understanding they need avenues to acquire inexpensive talent and contracts that will count only as minimum salaries against the cap, league sources said.
While there will continue to be debates about the Davis trade, it ultimately helped both teams. For the Lakers, the 26-year-old fulfills the team’s goals of winning now with LeBron James and for potentially the next 6-7 seasons.
Although it is difficult to trade Ball and Ingram after rebuilding through the NBA Draft for five seasons, they have an opportunity to grow at their own pace. Both showed All-Star potential as former No. 2 picks during their time.
With the Lakers looking to build a perennial championship contender now, all of the attention is on free agency.
Ranging from $23.7-$32.5 million in cap space, it will be interesting to see how general manager Rob Pelinka and company construct the roster. The potential $8.8 million loss due to bad timing will be a significant factor.
Along with not being able to make an offer to a third All-Star player, it would likely mean two instead of three role players if they decide to break up the cap space for depth.