Pelicans receive trade calls during NBA draft
David Griffin said he expects a calmer, calmer summer, but all has not been calm on the offseason front for the New Orleans Pelicans. Maybe he was playing his cards close in exit interviews, but the Pelicans are one of the most talked about teams in the NBA Draft Combine.
reports Jake Fischer, “It’s likely the Portland and New Orleans front offices could move those picks for an established veteran or trade down while adding another rotational element along the way.”
The front office can expect to receive many sales calls in the coming weeks. The Pelicans have several mobile contracts to wrap up with the 8th overall pick in the NBA Draft. They will have options but only one goal: to extract maximum value from the mid-lottery pick.
Exchange with Sacramento
Sacramento would be the most likely trading partner to trade lottery picks. The Kings hold the 4th pick. Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr. are the top three by consensus. New Orleans must be absolutely sure that Jaden Ivey or Shaedon Sharpe are worth the investment.
Any trade with the Kings would be heavy on the draft asset. Richaun Holmes or Justin Holiday could be nice additions, but they’re marginal moves for teams chasing playoff goals. Regardless of whether future picks came from the Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks or Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento would insist on keeping the picks lightly shielded.
The Pelicans have won trades by standing firm on those kinds of margins. New Orleans split protections on its pick this year and had to send Charlotte two second-rounders that wouldn’t make it into the rosters instead. Moving for a pick that might not get the first 4 minutes of draft selection is a balance that needs to be factored into the team chemistry equation.
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Pat standing with the 8th pick
This front office has spotted the character well. The chemistry of the locker room is undeniable. A move up will put pressure on the rotation with only so many minutes to go around. The top 4 picks usually play most of the game in hopes of winning Rookie of the Year, but the Pelicans have higher team priorities.
University of Arizona guard Benedict Mathurin has revealed he has been interviewed by the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers. He also had the Pelicans on the roster.
He may not reach the Pelicans but Mathurin has the right approach. He said, “It’s about going to the right place. It’s not going high or low.”
Staying pat with the 8th pick costs the team nothing. AJ Griffin, Keegan Murray, Jalen Duren, Dyson Daniels, TyTy Washinton and Johnny Davis could all be part of the rotation next year.
Looking for more vets and assets
The Pelicans could bet on getting their perfect player later in the draft. New Orleans could be looking for a useful player and future asset projects. Daniels and Washington may be available a few spots later. Ochai Agbaji and Jaden Hardy have enough advantages to take a look.
Even if this year’s selection doesn’t match up, most are young enough to still have enough potential value to pick up a pick. Going back or opting out of the draft altogether would save the team millions on the cover sheet.
Getting the most out of this year’s pick could mean money saved to spend later. As this team becomes more expensive, this financial flexibility might be more valuable than taking a flyer on a prospect in this project.