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David Griffin disputes notion Zion Williamson doesn’t want to join Pelicans

Reports suggest Zion Williamson was unhappy that the New Orleans Pelicans beat the odds and won last week’s Draft Lottery, thereby assuring the team would select him given his status as the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

On Tuesday, new Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations Dave Griffin disputed any such notion.

During a conference call with reporters with new general manager Trajan Langdon, Griffin weighed in on the speculation that Williamson would prefer to end up elsewhere, with the word being he had his sights set on the New York Knicks and playing in the Big Apple.

“I’m certain that’s a false narrative, Griffin said, per’s Jim Eichenhofer‏, adding that both Williamson and Ja Morant — who the team conceivably could draft No. 1 overall — are “thrilled at the concept of coming to New Orleans.”

Another issue confronting Griffin in an attempt to rebuild the Pelicans organization and change its culture is of course the issues surrounding disgruntled superstar Anthony Davis. Despite the belief that the Pelicans landing the top pick could help convince Davis to remain in New Orleans, he reportedly doubled down on his trade demand following the lottery.

Griffin has indicated every effort will be made to retain Davis, and on Tuesday reinforced that plan. Included in the Pelicans’ push is a scheduled meeting, where Griffin again will attempt to convince Davis to stay.

“The next step really is to look each other in eye and talk about what’s important to us,” Griffin said, via the AP’s Brett Martel. “… We’re very confident we have a compelling situation for him here.”

It remains to be seen if Griffin’s gambit will be successful, but even if Davis departs, the ability to select Williamson obviously is a great starting piece if the Pelicans are forced to embark upon a rebuild.