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New Orleans Pelicans

Holy smokes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin web a lot of value for falling straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading from their top five of this draft would be a remarkably risky move because draft value will fall off a cliff in the No. 6 selection. But this is not most years; we have been hearing for weeks that the 2019 draft projected to become unusually shallow after Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin clearly felt he could slide back four slots out of No. 4 and still get the player he wanted, centre Jaxson Hayes.
Using ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick platform system to help put 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 for No. 35) in comparison to 2,450 points going to Atlanta (2,440 to get No. 4; 10 for No. 57). That is a humongous gap in value. In addition to this, 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 continues to run a practice in his opening salvo. I am not in love with the Hayes choice at No. 8. He is a large pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mold, which is a fantastic match on many rosters. However, the Pelicans want shooters about Williamson to amplify his athleticism and Hayes has not revealed any variety outside 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 maybe 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 picks down online or bring in some shooting talent to free up more space for the kids. Don’t 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 room and bring into a 3-and-D existence on the wing.
Oh, and by the waythey drafted the best potential because LeBron James.
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Winners and losers of the 2019 NBA Draft
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