New Orleans Pelicans Draft Report

Breaking down the New Orleans Pelicans draft picks

2017-2018 W/L: 48-34 2018-2019 W/L: 33-49

Team Needs: SG/SF/C

Finished 13th in the Western Conference (Missed Playoffs)

Free Agents: Stanley Johnson, Elfrid Payton, Darius Miller, Ian Clark, Cheick Diallo

Team Option: Jahlil Okafor, Dairis Bertans

Player Option: Julius Randle

Under Contract: Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore, Frank Jackson

Pick 1: 1st Round-1st Overall

Expected to select Zion Williamson with pick

Pick 2: 2nd Round-39th Overall

Players who could be available and fit well with this pick:

SG: Jaylen Nowell, Miye Oni, Zach Norvell Jr.

SF: Chuma Okeke, Ignas Brazdeikis

PF/C: Luka Samanic, Mfiondu Kabengele

Pick 3: 2nd Round-57th Overall 

Players who could be available and fit well with this pick:

PG: Jared Harper, Lindell Wigginton, Justin Wright-Foreman

SG: Tyus Battle, Cody Martin

PF/C: Dedric Lawson, Aric Holman, Dewan Hernandez

The Pelicans had a rough season after having a good year in 2017-2018 leaving the future of the team up in air. Anthony Davis and his decision to want to be traded played a major factor, and the team struggled as a whole with Davis not on the floor. The luck went their way at the draft lottery giving New Orleans the first overall selection. With Zion Williamson being a virtual lock to be the #1 overall pick, it would seem that the Pelicans mind was most likely made when the ping pong balls landed in their favor. They have obviously considered other prospects, but there is a consensus at this point that the Pelicans will take Williamson. He would bring immediate star power to a team who will most likely be losing their biggest star in Anthony Davis whether that is in a trade or free agency. With the expectation that they will select Williamson with the first pick and being comfortable with Jrue Holiday running the point, they could go for a wing with their second pick or a big man. They will need to add scorers on the wing and providing they lose Davis they will also be attempting to replace a large amount of production from the forward/center position.

There will obviously be free agent signings and some possible additions in an Anthony Davis trade, so their roster today is certainly not what it will look like when we head into next season. With that said if we were picking for the Pelicans we would select a wing player with their second pick as there should be multiple options that will be available there with good value, and then take another guard for depth or a big man that can stretch the floor. The next month will be very big for their franchise with the draft and free agency happening, as well as the inevitable trade of Anthony Davis should he continue to want out of New Orleans. They have the opportunity to draft a star in Williamson and add a couple of nice pieces with their second round picks, in addition to possibly adding some other young talent in a Davis trade that will help get the franchise headed back to the playoffs in the future. In the event that they keep Davis, a roster built around Julius Randle, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Zion Williamson is a solid starting point to build around those players. With new management running the team it is tough to get an accurate read of the type of team that they will build, but the draft will give us a better idea going forward of the direction the Pelicans will be taking. 

 

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