Winners and losers of the 2019 NBA Draft

New Orleans Pelicans

Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin net a lot of value for falling straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading from their top five of the draft could be a remarkably risky move since draft value tends to drop off a cliff in the No. 6 selection. But this is not most years; we have been hearing for months that the 2019 draft projected to be unusually shallow after Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin clearly felt that 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 point system to help set transactions such as these in perspective, the Pelicans obtained 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 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 drop Solomon Hill’s $13 million deal. In addition to that, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round pick, which will probably become a set of second-rounders.
This is a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to conduct a practice in his opening salvo. I’m not in love with the Hayes choice at No. 8. He is a large pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a fantastic 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 news is that Hayes has a excellent stroke at the free throw line (74 percent last season at Texas), so he can maybe stretch out and produce a jumper. With that said, Lonzo Ball could shatter the lob listing with Williamson and Hayes running in the rim. Sheesh.
By making the transaction with Atlanta, the Pelicans have dug out roughly $30 million in cap space, which they can use to purchase more selections down online or bring in certain shooting talent to free up more space for the children. Don’t be shocked if Griffin earns Jared Dudley, who spent four and a half seasons with Griffin in Phoenix, to assist coach up the locker room and bring in a 3-and-D presence on the wing.
Oh, and incidentally they drafted the best prospect because LeBron James.

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