New Orleans Pelicans
Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin net a lot of value for falling back to No. 8. In the majority of years, trading from the top five of this draft would be an incredibly risky move because draft value tends to drop off a cliff at the No. 6 pick. However, this is not most years; we have been hearing for months that the 2019 draft supposed 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 desired, center Jaxson Hayes.
Using ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick platform system to help put transactions such as these in view, the Pelicans received 3,560 points in draft select value (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 for No. 35) in comparison to 2,450 points heading to Atlanta (2,440 for No. 4; 10 for No. 57). That is a humongous gap in value. In addition to this, the Pelicans drop Solomon Hill’s $13 million deal. In addition to that, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round pick, which will likely turn into a pair of second-rounders.
This was a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to conduct a clinic 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 fantastic match on many rosters. However, the Pelicans want shooters around Williamson to reevaluate his athleticism and Hayes hasn’t revealed any range outside the paint.
The good news is that Hayes has a excellent stroke in the free throw line (74 percent last year at Texas), so that he can possibly stretch out and develop a jumper. That said, Lonzo Ball may shatter the lob record with Williamson and Hayes running in the rim. Sheesh.
By making the transaction with Atlanta, the Pelicans have carved out about $30 million in cap space, which they may use to buy more picks down online or bring in certain shooting ability to free up more room for the kids. Don’t be surprised if Griffin earns 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 presence on the wing.
Oh, and by the waythey drafted the best potential because LeBron James.
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