The draft board at the Barclays Center displays the picks for the first round of the NBA Draft on June 20 (Julio Cortez)
The draft board at the Barclays Center displays the picks for the first round of the NBA Draft on June 20 (Julio Cortez)|Associated Press

NBA Outlook - Mims’ Take Now That The Draft Dust Has Settled, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, Lebron James, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant

Robert Mims

Robert Mims

Zion Williamson was the first player selected in the NBA draft last night. This was a no-brainer for the New Orleans Pelicans. They have a strong young nucleus for the next five seasons. The Anthony Davis trade solidified that. Brandon Ingram is a bona fide scorer. Josh Hart brings the championship pedigree from Villanova. Lonzo Ball showed improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 before getting injured. The trade also brought multiple draft picks. I project Williamson as a double double man that scores and gets rebounds. The Pelicans still have Jrue Holiday, a quality point guard that must prove he can avoid injury.

Davis going to the Lakers with Lebron James has Los Angeles as the betting favorite to win the 2020 NBA Championship (7-2 or so in most places). If the Lakers make a move and sign Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker that would make those odds go even lower. This has “can’t miss” written on it. You have two of the top 10 players in the game on the same team.

The Warriors will be without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson for all or significant parts of 2019-20. I would look for a future bet of their projected win total and lean under. Houston is about to make a major move to their roster with Clint Capela. Mike D’Antoni is in the final year of his contract. The teams do not possess the ingredients for a championship run.

The Sixers must make a strong push to sell Jimmy Butler on staying with the team. Butler showed he is the glue guy that can do everything and show leadership. He comes through in clutch situations. It would be nice to retain Tobias Harris as well. Harris did not perform at his best during the playoffs but given a full training camp with the team will allow head coach Brett Brown the opportunity to use him efficiently. If the Sixers don’t keep Butler or Harris, they will be in trouble. If I had to be in the position of keeping just one, I am keeping Butler.

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