NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Pelicans 2018-19 season couldn't have ended on much worse of a note. The team was first told that its marquee star Anthony Davis wanted a trade with a year and a half left on his contract.
The team lost 13 of its last 16 games and finished 33-49, with one of the worst records in the league, just a season after looking like a team on the rise.
Those fortunes took a big change Tuesday night when the team inexplicably won the NBA Draft lottery, and with it, a chance to pick Zion Williamson, the most hyped college basketball player, since, well, the Pelicans also beat the odds and selected Anthony Davis.
Fans have been so excited, that, Pelicans officials say the team has sold 2,500 season tickets since the announcement - a number they claim is twice as large as the number fans rushed to get when the Davis lottery was won.
The excitement around Williamson also brought up questions as to whether Davis might consider staying in New Orleans and combining with Zion and Jrue Holiday to form the basis for a contending team.
A report from NBA.com said that Davis' camp is still firm on the decision to move on.
That might help the Pelicans anyway. If Davis stayed, the team might have the same issue it had when Boogie Cousins was also here - 3 top line players and little support. Dealing Davis might bring a bevy of young talent.
Fans though are putting their faith in the Pels, now under the management of Gayle Benson.