Turn back the clock to the beginning of the season and it seems like a lifetime ago for the Pelicans. The front office was questionable; their star Anthony Davis requested a trade seeming to have the Pelicans by the throat. The team was catching major heat for how they handle trade discussions with the Lakers and it looked like the team was headed for a disaster. Six months and some ping-pong balls later and the Pelicans are in the driver seat to turn the organization around in one offseason.
Getting the first pick in the draft and winning the Zion sweepstakes is just the start of the good fortune for the Pelicans in the last month. Despite the words of Anthony Davis’ agent Rich Paul, clearly stating he would be a one-year rental for the Celtics; Boston is still determined to acquire him. This is great news for the Pelicans as they now have Boston and the Lakers in a bidding war for the All Star forward. The way I see it the Lakers are already ahead of the pack with the pieces they can offer.
It has been reported the Lakers have made the following assets available for trade: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and the 4th overall pick. This is much more interesting now that we know the Pelicans would plan to trade that 4th pick in exchange for another all-star. That news changes everything because it offers something that the Celtics can’t, which is a pick to flip for a star. The Pelicans have the opportunity to create a starting lineup that includes Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, and possibly an all-star player. That lineup one month into a rebuild would be an absolute win for the Pelicans. They would be light years ahead of any other rebuild in the league and possibly in position to compete for a playoff spot. Obviously all of the pieces would have to fall into place before this rebuild can begin but we are not far away. The NBA draft a couple weeks away and fireworks are sure to be centered around the Pelicans.
Louis Areniello is a Contributor for the Unwrapped Sports Network website. Follow him @LilLou617 on Twitter.