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NBA News and Notes

It may have taken much longer than people anticipated, but Anthony Davis finally got his wish and was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers for quite a haul. In the deal, the Pelicans received guards Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball as well as forward Brandon Ingram.

Additionally, the Pelicans received three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft.
Anthony Davis is easily one of the best players in the league and now gets to “take his talents” to L.A. to be coupled with LeBron James. Last season, in 56 games, Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while shooting 51.7% from the field.

The Pelicans actually turned around and traded the No. 4 overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks, who took De’Andre Hunter. In exchange for the No. 4 pick, the No. 57 pick and Solomon Hill, the Pelicans received the Nos. 8, 17, and 35 picks in this year’s draft as well as a heavily-protected 2020 first-round pick.

With the No. 8 pick, the Pelicans selected center Jaxson Hayes, then selected Nickeil Alexander-Walker at No. 17 and Marcos Louzada Silva out of France at No. 35. All in all, the last week has been pretty monumental in terms of changing the course of the Pelicans’ future. They traded Anthony Davis away for Ball, Hart, Ingram, Hayes, Alexander-Walker, Silva and a few future first-round picks. Oh, and I failed to mention, they also drafted someone else.

Williamson Picked No. 1 Overall

With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans selected Zion Williamson, forward out of Duke. While the haul that the Pelicans received from the Lakers for Anthony Davis was impressive, this is the game-changer. Williamson has long been seen as the cream of the class; in fact, some have even compared him to Davis’ new teammate, James.

While those comparisons might be ambitious, it is definitely noteworthy that the Pelicans have a once in a decade-type talent that they can build around for years to come. In 33 games at Duke last season, Williamson averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. Along with Jrue Holiday and the rest of the players mentioned above, Williamson will try to get the Pelicans back to relevancy sooner than later.

The top 10 in Thursday night’s draft looked like this:

1. New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson (forward, Duke)

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant (guard, Murray State)

3. New York Knicks – R.J. Barrett (forward, Duke)

4. Atlanta Hawks – De’Andre Hunter (forward, Virginia)

5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Darius Garland (guard, Vanderbilt)

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jarrett Culver (guard, Texas Tech)

7. Chicago Bulls – Coby White (guard, North Carolina)

8. New Orleans Pelicans – Jaxson Hayes (center, Texas)

9. Washington Wizards – Rui Hachimura (forward, Gonzaga)

10. Atlanta Hawks – Cam Reddish (forward, Duke)

Jazz Acquire Conley

The Utah Jazz traded for point guard Mike Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week. In the deal, the Jazz received Conley while the Grizzlies received Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen, the No. 23 pick in this year’s draft and a future first-round pick.

In Conley, the Jazz receive a veteran point guard that averaged 21.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists across 70 games last season. Combined with Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, and Joe Ingles, the Jazz could have a potent starting five.

For the Grizzlies, it is just another sign of rebuilding; however, they have already found Conley’s replacement with the No. 2 overall pick, Ja Morant. In addition, the Grizzlies used the No. 23 pick to move up to select Brandon Clarke with the No. 21 pick, trading with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Suns Stay Busy On Draft Day

The Phoenix Suns found themselves very active on draft day. The first move of the day was mostly to free up money. They sent T.J. Warren and his three-year, $35 million contract to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for cash. Last season with the Suns, Warren was only able to play 43 games but averaged 18 points on 48.6% shooting, including 42.8% from behind the three. He also chipped in four rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
In order to get the Pacers to make the move, they also had to include their No. 32 overall pick in the draft. The Pacers later traded that pick to the Miami Heat for three future second-round picks.

Later in the day, the Suns traded the No. 6 overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Dario Saric and the No. 11 overall pick. Last season, Saric averaged 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 81 games. Minnesota used that pick to nab shooting guard Jarrett Culver, while the Suns selected Cameron Johnson with the 11th pick.

In a third deal on draft day, the Suns acquired the No. 24 overall selection and big man Aron Baynes from the Boston Celtics in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick (technically the Bucks’ first-round pick). For the Suns, they used the pick to select Virginia point guard Ty Jerome. For Baynes, the Celtics appeared ready to move on without him, and the Suns were happy to scoop him up as a throw-in. Last season, Baynes averaged 5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 51 games.

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