Lottery Notes: Pelicans, Knicks, Cavs, Bulls, C’s

Tuesday night was a massive one for the Pelicans, who won the 2019 draft lottery despite entering the night with just a 6.0% of landing that top pick. As William Guillory of The Athletic details, head coach Alvin Gentry was representing the team in the drawing room and was ecstatic when he learned that the team would be drafting first overall, exclaiming “F— yeah!” and high-fiving other representatives in the room.

While the Pelicans will now have the opportunity to build around super-prospect Zion Williamson, Gentry and new head of basketball operations David Griffin remain optimistic that they can convince their current franchise player – Anthony Davis – to be part of the future as well.

“Guys, the one thing you got to understand is [Davis] is still on our roster,” Gentry said on Tuesday, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “He is on our roster. All of that will take care of itself. I’m not worried about it. I know Griff has some plans to talk to him, and it will be fine.”

For his part, Griffin downplayed the effect that landing the No. 1 pick might have on Davis’ situation, while still indicating that he’d like to keep the All-NBA big man around.

“I understand why people want to link the two, because the assumption is that elite players want to play with other elite players, but this doesn’t change anything with the Anthony Davis situation,” Griffin said, according to Nathan Brown of The Advocate. “Maybe it gives him one more sign that things are changing in a different direction.

“This is just one more positive chip at this point, and if Anthony Davis is trying to decide if he can trust if we can build a winner, I hope we can build evidence of that day after day. And if AD wants to be part of that, wonderful. And if he doesn’t buy into what we’re trying to do, that’s okay too.”

Here’s more on Tuesday’s draft lottery:

  • Within his story linked above, Spears cites a source who says Williamson – who left the draft room without comment after the Pelicans won the lottery – was hoping to end up with the Knicks. The Knicks, who are holding the No. 3 pick, won’t have a shot at Zion now, but they have another Duke player firmly on their radar. A league source tells Adam Zagoria of that New York is expected to meet with R.J. Barrett on Wednesday at the draft combine in Chicago.
  • Moving down to fifth in the draft order was close to a worst-case scenario for the Cavaliers, but as Chris Fedor of observes, it may not be a huge letdown for new head coach John Beilein, who rarely had the opportunity to add five-star recruits during his college coaching career.
  • Bulls executive John Paxson sounds open to the possibility of trading the No. 7 pick, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. “There’s other things you can do with picks to get better,” Paxson said. “You can trade them, you can do a lot of different things. So again, now that we know where we’re at, thankful to know and we’ll get to work trying to find a way to make best use of it.”
  • The Kings’ pick didn’t move up from No. 14 and the Grizzlies kept their own first-rounder, but things could have gone much worse for the Celtics on lottery night, as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston explains.
  • Sean Deveney of Sporting News takes a look at some of the winners and losers of Tuesday’s lottery, while ESPN’s Zach Lowe passes along several interesting nuggets from behind the scenes of the event.
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25 thoughts on “Lottery Notes: Pelicans, Knicks, Cavs, Bulls, C’s

  1. What’s funny is the afterthought teams in the two big cities may have a better chance of Landing the big free agents then their Bigger Brothers.

    I’d almost watch out for the Nets and the Clippers to get guys of consequence rather than the Knicks and the Lakers.

    • Nebraska Tim

      Apparently today is the “agree with everything Gary says” day!

      I think you’re spot on.

      Why would anyone want to play for those gong shows when there are better teams with better management and ownership that they could play for in essentially the exact same markets?

  2. knickscavsfan

    We can’t compare what Beilein was able to do with non-elite college recruits in the NCAA vs what he can do with non-elite draft picks in the NBA. Talent reigns supreme in the NBA. Coaches just put a system in place to maximize the talent as well as the role of creating a culture and managing egos.

    That being said they got Sexton at #8 last year. They still have a shot at some really good prospects such as Coby White, De’Andre Hunter, Rui Hachimura and Darius Garland. I think they all could be interesting fits.

    • Michael Chaney

      I haven’t read Fedor’s piece yet, but I actually see the comparison. Talent does reign supreme in the NBA, but the circumstances here are similar to how he acquired talent at UM. He’s a good teacher and does a good job of developing young players that weren’t as highly thought of before he had them. That’s pretty much exactly what’s gonna happen here.

      I’m disappointed that they won’t get Zion or even Morant, but I really like Culver and I think he’s a perfect fit for what they’re trying to do. Beilein also saw him up close in the tournament, so maybe that helps. He’s a solid defender (Sexton struggled there last year and having someone next to him to help out would be nice), but I like his offensive game a lot more than Hunter’s. White and Garland are decent too, but I think 5 is too early for White (he’s another poor defender too), and Garland is still a little bit of a wild card but I am intrigued by him. That’s also way too early for Hachimura.

      • knickscavsfan

        White and Hachimura are on almost all mock drafts in the 4-7 slots so I don’t agree. I really like the athleticism of Hunter and heard he’s a good defender as well.

        • x%sure

          Espn has White at 10 and Hachimura at 18. I think that underrates Rui though, who may take some time to find his game.

          White & Garland duplicates Sexton. Hunter can do it all except for randomly losing confidence in his offense, but Beilein should be good for that, so good choice. Tony Bennet has his players always focussed on defense.

  3. knickscavsfan

    Cavs can be major players between draft day and start of free agency. Clarkson, Smith, Thompson, Knight, Dellavedova and Henson all have expiring contracts and some can actually help a contending team on the floor. Cavs have said they are willing to take on salary attached to young players or draft assets. If Koby Altman plays it right the Cavs could do very well this draft.

    Cavs also pick at #26. I personally like Cameron Johnson from UNC, Ignas Brazdeikis from Michigan and there’s a chance some top 15 guys could drop down to them at 26th overall too.

    • SuperSinker

      Lol why would teams want to take those players on? There’s maybe 3 rotation players there and they’re expensive as heck. I’d certainly exhaust all my options before calling and asking for Dellavadova FFS lol

      • knickscavsfan

        Hey if you don’t understand the value of expiring contracts, just say so. As teams head into FA there are going to be teams looking to dump future payroll and trading for an expiring contract is one way to do so. And some of those Cavs with expiring contracts might also be able to help. In Tristan you have a guy than give 8-10+ rebounds a game. For Clarkson you get an electric scorer off the bench. In Delly you get a capable backup PG who plays inspired D and can hit an open 3. I could easily see a trade scenario where Toronto might want to acquire a top FA to try and keep Kawhai.

        JR Smith and Delly ($24 mil but only $13 mil guaranteed) for Ibaka (1/$24 mil guaraanteed).

        The value Delly is that you can use his salary to match up with trades. The fact that his contract is soon to expire means no commitment beyond this year and you might even be able to negotiate a buyout if he knows he won’t get playing time. It’s done all the time.

        If the Celtics can’t get AD they might wish to move salary to attract another FA and might use some of there 3 picks in the 1st round (14th, 20th and 22nd) to facilitate moving salary. They can then go after another FA who’s 2020-2021 and after salary can be offset by moving the $34 mil due in 2020-2021. Plus if JR Smith is involved, only $4 mil of his $16 mil salary for next year is guaranteed. They can save $12 mil immediately by releasing him before his contract becomes guaranteed.

        • Connorsoxfan

          Didn’t they change the CBA to protect against the partial guarantee rules? Or does that only apply to contracts signed after that change? I’d assume Smith signed before because that was a relatively recent change.

          • x%sure

            Smith’s was signed under the old rules. It might be worth a low first depending on how free agency works out for a capspace-strapped team.
            They might be done taking on salary unless it regards trading Smith.

    • Rocket32

      Can’t really blame him. If I thought I was going to New York and potentially being joined by KD and/or Kyrie and found out I was going to the Pelicans instead I’d be devastated too.

    • hiflew

      He has two choices. Get over it and be an adult. Or go back to Duke for another year and wait for the Knicks to tank again next year. He just better watch out for exploding Nikes.

      • phenomenalajs

        I don’t know what counts as tampering, but he could talk to Anthony Davis to see if he’s deadset on leaving NO. If Zion could convince AD to stay, Zion, AD and Jrue would be a formidable trio in the Western Conference.

        • vrnster23

          He can go back to Duke because he hasn’t hired an agent or signed any endorsements.

      • dlevin11

        Zion could also play in China or Europe for a year then hope for the best in 2020 draft

  4. leprechaun

    The Bulls are a joke and until they either get sold or fire Paxson and Foreman they aren’t going anywhere

    • kroeg49

      The Bulls suck, big time. As long as Reinsdorf is connected to the team, nothing will change for this team. Same applies to the White Sox!

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