NBA Title Odds 2020: Pelicans Improve to 25-1 After Landing No. 1 Pick

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 15, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 14:Executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry pose for a photo after the team was awarded the number one overall pick  at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery on May 14, 2019 at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans won the top selection in the 2019 NBA draft on Tuesday, which almost assuredly means superstar prospect and consensus No. 1 pick Zion Williamson will soon head to NOLA.

In turn, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook (h/t Ben Fawkes of ESPN.com) dropped the Pels' 2019-20 NBA title odds from an astronomical 300-1 to 25-1. 

Williamson would instantly make the Pels better, but the question is whether star New Orleans big man Anthony Davis, who requested a trade in January, will change his mind about leaving.

Westgate director John Murray believes he might. As he told Fawkes, "We think it's a lot more likely that Anthony Davis decides maybe New Orleans isn't so bad now that they're getting Zion.

However, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Tuesday that Davis' "stance on a trade has not changed."

Even if Davis still wants to leave, the Pelicans don't have to fret about their immediate future.

Sports Reference credited Williamson with the highest recorded player efficiency rating among Division I men's basketball players over the past 10 years. He averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks on 68.0 percent shooting as a freshman at Duke, and he could immediately help fill any void left by Davis on both ends.

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Meanwhile, a Davis trade would likely return a significant haul.

SNY's Ian Begley posited the idea that the New York Knicks could send the Pels an intriguing trade offer involving their No. 3 overall pick, other future draft choices and some of their younger players (no one specific was named).

Davis is a free agent after the 2019-20 season and could leave, but Begley reported: "Davis would certainly consider re-signing with the Knicks if he felt he could be successful in New York, per SNY sources familiar with the matter."

That potential haul could give New Orleans an excellent building block for the future, further justifying the Westgate's odds boost to 25-1.

The Knicks' pick at No. 3 would likely turn into Duke's RJ Barrett or Murray State's Ja Morant, who round out the top three in all of HoopsHype's aggregated draft boards. Throw in some future first-rounders and some of the Knicks' under-25 talent, and that's a good start.

The Los Angeles Lakers could use their No. 4 overall pick in addition to some of their young talent, as well. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported in February that the Lakers offered Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and two first-round picks to New Orleans for Davis.

Zubac is no longer on the team, but the No. 4 pick and most (or all) of the other players would also be huge boosts to the Pels' championship chances.

The bottom line is that New Orleans holds all the cards here. With Williamson in the mix and a potential haul coming in return for Davis, the Pels are set up for success.

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