New Orleans Pelicans
Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin web a ton of value for falling back to No. 8. In the majority of years, trading out of the top five of the draft would be an incredibly risky move because draft value will fall off a cliff at the No. 6 selection. But this isn’t most years; we’ve been hearing for months that the 2019 draft supposed to be unusually shallow after Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin obviously felt he could slide back four slots out of No. 4 and still receive the player he desired, center Jaxson Hayes.
Using ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick point system to help set transactions like 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) in comparison to 2,450 points heading into Atlanta (2,440 to get No. 4; 10 for No. 57). That is a humongous difference in value. In addition to this, the Pelicans shed Solomon Hill’s $13 million contract. On top of this, the Pelicans received Cleveland’s 2020 first-round choice, which will probably turn into a set of second-rounders.
This is a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to run a practice in his opening salvo. I’m not in love with all the Hayes selection at No. 8. He’s a big pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a great fit on most rosters. But the Pelicans want shooters about Williamson to reevaluate his athleticism and Hayes has not revealed any range away from the paint.
The fantastic news is that Hayes has a really good stroke in the free throw line (74 percent last year at Texas), therefore he can maybe stretch out and develop a jumper. With that said, Lonzo Ball may 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 buy more picks down online or earn some shooting ability to free up more space for the kids. 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 into a 3-and-D presence on the wing.
Oh, and by the waythey drafted the very best potential since LeBron James.
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