The NBA order is set, with the New Orleans Pelicans winning the top overall pick, with the Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers rounding out the top 5.
10. Hawks (via Mavs)
The Pelicans winning the top pick sets them up to have several options this summer. David Griffin and the New Orleans front office could opt to hold onto Anthony Davis, and see if Zion Williamson along with Jrue Holiday is a strong enough duo on the court to convince him to resign next summer, or initiate a full on rebuild by trading both Davis and Holiday, and starting over with a young core. With the Lakers and Celtics packages that have been rumored to be available for New Orleans in a trade, the Pelicans could have one of the most tantalizing young teams in the NBA seemingly overnight.
Memphis has a nice luxury of selecting between point guard Ja Morant and RJ Barrett, depending on who they think fits best to alongside Jaren Jackson, last year’s fourth overall pick. Drafting Morant would likely bring and end to the Mike Conley era in Memphis, which may have been wrapping up anyways, but this would give Memphis a better excuse to move the most beloved player in franchise history. Morant would give Memphis a high level scoring wing, should the Grizzlies choose to hold onto Conley this summer.
The Knicks are nearly guaranteed to take whoever Memphis doesn’t between Morant and Barrett, and both are potential franchise pieces. Neither is as much of a sure thing as Zion, but will be nice additional pieces for a roster in need of a total rebuild. The Knicks could find themselves in an awkward spot in free agency if Morant falls to them at 3. The Knicks will have to take the PG, and hope it doesn’t scare either Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker away from signing with them this summer, which could also help them land Kevin Durant.
The Lakers climbed from 11th in the draft to fourth, which is a fantastic jump, but leaves them outside of the three horse race at the top of the draft. They’ll have a bevy of options with the fourth pick, and could realistically include it in a trade to add proven talent around LeBron James. It might be enough to push the previously mentioned trade package for Anthony Davis through, landing a second superstar in Los Angeles.
There is some potential impact on the Jazz, as both New Orleans and Memphis could initiate full rebuilds, including trading Mike Conley or Jrue Holiday. The Jazz were rumored to be pursuing Conley at the most recent trade deadline, and have long sought after Holiday. Whether the Jazz have a trade package capable of landing either player remains to be seen, but both players would add significantly to this Jazz roster.