New Orleans Pelicans
Holy smokes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin web a ton of value for falling straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading from the top five of the draft could be an incredibly risky move because draft value tends to fall off a cliff at the No. 6 pick. However, this isn’t most years; we’ve been hearing for weeks that the 2019 draft supposed to become unusually shallow following Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin clearly felt he could slide back four slots from No. 4 and still get the player he wanted, centre Jaxson Hayes.
Utilizing ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick platform system to help set transactions like these in view, the Pelicans received 3,560 points in draft pick worth (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 to get No. 35) compared to 2,450 points going to Atlanta (2,440 for No. 4; 10 for No. 57). That’s a humongous difference in value. On top of that, the Pelicans shed Solomon Hill’s $13 million contract. In addition to this, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round pick, which will likely become a pair of second-rounders.
This was a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to run a practice in his opening salvo. I am not in love with the Hayes choice at No. 8. He’s a big pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mold, which is a great fit on many rosters. However, the Pelicans want shooters about Williamson to reevaluate his athleticism and Hayes has not revealed any range outside the paint.
The good thing is that Hayes has a really good stroke at the free throw line (74 percent last season at Texas), so he could maybe stretch out and develop a jumper. That said, Lonzo Ball could shatter the lob record with Williamson and Hayes running in the rim. Sheesh.
By making the trade with Atlanta, the Pelicans have dug out roughly $30 million in cap space, which they can use to buy more picks down online or earn some shooting talent to free up more space for the children. Do not be shocked if Griffin brings in Jared Dudley, who spent four and a half seasons with Griffin in Phoenix, to assist coach up the locker area and bring in a 3-and-D existence around the wing.
Oh, and incidentally , they drafted the best potential because LeBron James.