New Orleans Pelicans

Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin net a lot of value for dropping straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading out of their top five of the draft could be a remarkably risky move because draft worth tends to fall off a cliff at the No. 6 selection. However, this isn’t most years; we’ve been hearing for weeks that the 2019 draft projected to become remarkably shallow following Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin obviously felt he could slide back four slots out of No. 4 and still receive the player he desired, centre Jaxson Hayes.
Using ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick platform system to help set transactions like these in perspective, the Pelicans received 3,560 points in draft pick worth (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 for No. 35) in comparison to 2,450 points going to Atlanta (2,440 for No. 4; 10 to get No. 57). That is a humongous difference in value. On top of that, the Pelicans drop Solomon Hill’s $13 million deal. In addition to that, the Pelicans received Cleveland’s 2020 first-round pick, which will probably become a set of second-rounders.
This is a heist by Griffin, who continues to run a clinic in his opening salvo. I’m not in love with the Hayes choice at No. 8. He’s a large pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a fantastic match on many rosters. But the Pelicans need shooters about Williamson to amplify his athleticism and Hayes hasn’t revealed any range outside the paint.
The fantastic thing is that Hayes has a excellent stroke at the free throw line (74 percent last year at Texas), so that he can maybe stretch out and produce a jumper. That said, Lonzo Ball may shatter the lob record with Williamson and Hayes running at the rim. Sheesh.
By making the trade with Atlanta, the Pelicans have carved out about $30 million in cap space, which they can use to purchase more picks down the line or earn some shooting talent to free up more room for the children. Don’t be shocked if Griffin brings in Jared Dudley, who spent four and a half seasons with Griffin at Phoenix, to assist coach up the locker room and bring into a 3-and-D existence on the wing.
Oh, and by the waythey drafted the very best potential because LeBron James.

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