The New Orleans Pelicans are possibly in the most enviable position in the NBA.
Not only are they good now and loaded with young talent that is just going to keep improving, but just like last season, they have a chance to be in the lottery anyway.
The Pelicans are currently in 1st place in the loaded Western Conference after beating Detroit, and have three upcoming games with the Suns, so will have a chance to build a little cushion with some wins.
We know the West will be back and forth this season, as there are a lot of good teams, but as long as the Pelicans can stay healthy, they should be among the contenders for the conference.
The present is exciting, but so is the future, as the Pelicans own the right to swap picks with the Lakers this season, and could add another elite lottery pick to their roster or use the pick as part of a trade to land another star.
At the beginning of the season, it was looking great for New Orleans, as the Lakers were among the league’s worst teams, but even after LA has strung together some wins, the Pels hopes of getting the first pick, adding Victor Wembanyama and forming a dynasty are still very much alive.
New Orleans Pelicans: Draft odds for Victor Wembanyama
It doesn’t appear as though the LA Lakers are going to be a bottom three team this season, though there are still plenty of games left to play.
The Lakers are 10-14, just 13th in the Western Conference, so still well outside of the play-in picture, two games back from the 10th-place Warriors. LA has lost two in a row, but was on a bit of a run before that and has won six of their last 10 games overall.
As it stands today, the Lakers have the 6th-worst record in the league, which would give the Pelicans an 8.3 percent chance at the number one pick and a 34.8 percent chance to jump into the top four.
Those may seem like long odds (and they are) but they are actually better than the year the New Orleans Pelicans lucked out and got Zion Williamson. In other words, stranger things have happened.
But a lot can change, especially considering the Lakers have the 8th-most difficult remaining schedule and have gotten relatively decent health from stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, with the latter putting up monster numbers of late. AD has had to miss the last two games with illness, which explains why the Lakers lost, because he was coming off 44 and 55 point performances.
The New Orleans Pelicans are only worried about the battle for the top of the conference right now,…