New Orleans Pelicans
Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin net a ton of value for falling straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading from the top five of the draft could be a remarkably risky move since draft worth tends to drop off a cliff in the No. 6 pick. However, this isn’t most years; we’ve been hearing for months that the 2019 draft supposed to become remarkably shallow after Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin clearly felt that he could slide back four slots out of No. 4 and still get the player he wanted, center Jaxson Hayes.
Utilizing ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick point system to help put transactions like these in view, the Pelicans obtained 3,560 points in draft select worth (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 for No. 4; 10 for No. 57). That’s a humongous gap in value. On top of that, the Pelicans drop Solomon Hill’s $13 million contract. On top of this, the Pelicans received Cleveland’s 2020 first-round choice, 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’m not in love with all the Hayes selection at No. 8. He is a large pick-and-roll dunker from the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a great fit on most rosters. However, the Pelicans need shooters around Williamson to reevaluate his athleticism and Hayes has not revealed any variety away from the paint.
The good news is that Hayes has a really good stroke at the free throw line (74 percent last season at Texas), so that he can possibly stretch out and develop 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 dug out roughly $30 million in cap space, which they may use to buy more selections down the line or bring in certain shooting talent to free up more space for the kids. Do not be surprised 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 deliver in a 3-and-D presence on the wing.
Oh, and incidentally they drafted the very best potential since LeBron James.
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