NBA fans are more excited now than in most of the past decade.
The results of the 2019 NBA Draft lottery are in and fans across the league are stirring. It's official: the New Orleans Pelicans have won the first overall pick. With this revelation comes the speculation that the team will select Duke standout Zion Williamson when the draft rolls around on June 20. It was widely expected that the New York Knicks would claim the top spot draft after bottoming out of the NBA with a 17-65 record, but they ended up with the third overall pick behind New Orleans and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Los Angeles Lakers surprisingly notched the fourth overall pick, which could mean big things moving forward.
So what does this mean for the NBA? It means a lot of things, particularly when taking the upcoming free agency period into account. Superstars such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are expected to scatter across the league and help establish a new hierarchy in the NBA. The abundance of high-end talent coming into the draft only serves to heighten the excitement among fans for next season.
New Orleans' draft lottery victory gives them the opportunity to acquire a potential generational talent in Williamson and make him the focal point of their team for years to come. The Lakers can acquire a high-end prospect and pair him with LeBron James and possibly acquire a high-profile free agent to take their team to the next level. Knicks fans will hang onto the hope that their long-standing demons will finally die as their franchise has made moves to acquire a superstar or two this summer, with many believing that the aforementioned Durant and Irving will join the team. In addition, they can select a potential star with their third overall pick. The Golden State Warriors are expected to become weaker by losing one of their perennial All-Stars in free agency, presumably Durant. We could be experiencing a changing of the guard in the NBA, although Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson look to keep the Warriors competitive in future seasons.
The NBA draft and free agency could signal big changes to the league and its outlook for the next few years. The bottom line is that things could really get interesting next season and beyond.