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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 dropping back to No. 8. In most years, trading out of their top five of the draft would be an incredibly risky move since draft worth tends to drop off a cliff in the No. 6 pick. But this is not most years; we have been hearing for weeks that the 2019 draft supposed to be unusually shallow following Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin obviously felt he could slide back four slots out of No. 4 and still get the player he desired, center Jaxson Hayes.
Utilizing ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick point system to help set transactions such as these in view, the Pelicans received 3,560 points in draft pick worth (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 for No. 35) compared to 2,450 points heading into Atlanta (2,440 for No. 4; 10 to get No. 57). That is a humongous difference in value. In addition to that, the Pelicans shed Solomon Hill’s $13 million contract. On top of this, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round choice, which will likely turn into a set of second-rounders.
This was a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to run a practice in his opening salvo. I am not in love with all the Hayes selection at No. 8. He’s a large pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mold, which is a great fit on most rosters. However, the Pelicans need shooters around Williamson to amplify his athleticism and Hayes hasn’t shown any range outside the paint.
The fantastic thing is that Hayes has a really good stroke at the free throw line (74 percent last season at Texas), therefore he can possibly stretch out and develop 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 buy more selections down online or earn some shooting ability to free up more room for the children. 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 room and bring in a 3-and-D presence around the wing.
Oh, and incidentally they drafted the best prospect because LeBron James.