New Orleans Pelicans
Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin web a lot of value for falling back to No. 8. In most years, trading out of the top five of this draft would be a remarkably risky move since draft value will fall off a cliff in the No. 6 selection. However, this isn’t most years; we’ve been hearing for months that the 2019 draft supposed to become unusually shallow after Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin obviously felt that he could slide back four slots from No. 4 and still receive the player he wanted, center Jaxson Hayes.
Using ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick point system to help set transactions like these in perspective, the Pelicans received 3,560 points in draft select value (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 to get No. 35) in comparison to 2,450 points heading to Atlanta (2,440 to get No. 4; 10 to get No. 57). That’s a humongous gap in value. On top of that, the Pelicans shed Solomon Hill’s $13 million deal. In addition to that, the Pelicans received Cleveland’s 2020 first-round choice, which will likely turn into a pair of second-rounders.
This is a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to conduct a practice in his opening salvo. I am not in love with the Hayes selection at No. 8. He’s a large pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a great match on most rosters. But the Pelicans want shooters around Williamson to amplify his athleticism and Hayes hasn’t shown any variety away from the paint.
The good news is that Hayes has a excellent stroke in the free throw line (74 percent last year at Texas), therefore he can maybe stretch out and produce a jumper. With that said, Lonzo Ball could shatter the lob record with Williamson and Hayes running at the rim. Sheesh.
By making the transaction with Atlanta, the Pelicans have carved out about $30 million in cap space, which they can use to purchase more selections down the line or bring in certain shooting ability to free up more room for the kids. Don’t be surprised if Griffin brings in Jared Dudley, who spent four and a half seasons with Griffin at Phoenix, to help coach up the locker room and deliver in a 3-and-D existence around the wing.
Oh, and incidentally , they drafted the very best potential since LeBron James.
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