How Will the NBA Draft Lottery Impact the Rest of the NBA?
This wasn’t your standard draft lottery with the ping-pong balls falling in the expected order. Instead, there were several twists and turns, hoisting some teams way up the lottery and others way down.
Here are some of the main takeaways from the draft lottery:
The New System May Actually Deincentivize Tanking
The Phoenix Suns finished tied for the second worst record in the NBA. Their reward? The 6thoverall pick.
The Chicago Bulls finished with the 4thworst record in the NBA. Their reward? The 7thoverall pick.
Both teams had legitimate hopes of the number 1 pick and at the very least expected to stay within the top 4. Instead, under the new draft lottery odd rules, teams like the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers, whose odds were lower, flew up the lottery into the top 4. This will almost certainly make teams rethink their end of season strategies. Tanking is not the easy route to a high draft pick anymore. Kudos to the NBA for making the adjustment.
What Do The Lakers Do With The Pick?
For a moment Lakers fans must have felt like their far-fetched dreams of drafting Zion Williamson may actually turn into reality, though I’m sure they are more than pleased with the 4thoverall pick. With that said, what do they do with it? It’s no secret that the Lakers are looking to acquire All-Stars to pair with LeBron James, and with the 4thoverall pick, they may finally have enough to entice the Pelicans and acquire Anthony Davis?
Should they decide to keep the pick, it will be very interesting to see the direction they go. There seems to be a considerable drop-off in talent after the top 3, which may also mean that the Lakers consider trading down. Either way, it will be fascinating to see what the new management in Laker-land decide to do.
Zion and AD Unite?
Could you imagine a front-court that features Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson? The highlight reel plays, the chase down blocks, the alley-oops, the defensive tenacity and rim protection. The list goes on, but the thought is flat out scary. David Griffin and the Pelicans organization will surely do everything in their power to convince Anthony Davis to re-sign long term and contend for a championship in New Orleans.
Grizzlies Thinking Big
Forgotten in all of the hype is that the Memphis Grizzlies moved all the way up to number 2! Currently in a re-build phase, the pick has the possibility to rapidly expedite that rebuild and have the Grizzlies competing for a playoff spot very soon. Assuming that Zion is off the board, the Grizzlies will have an interesting decision to make.
Basically, I think it will come down to how they view Mike Conley. If they think he has another 3-4 years of solid play left in him, then they will likely pair RJ Barrett with him in the backcourt. If they are ready to move on from Conley then Ja Morant represents the perfect successor.