Winners and losers of the 2019 NBA Draft
New Orleans Pelicans
Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin net a ton of value for dropping back to No. 8. In the majority of years, trading from their top five of the draft could be an incredibly risky move since draft worth tends to fall off a cliff at the No. 6 selection. However, this is not most years; we’ve been hearing for months that the 2019 draft projected 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 wanted, centre Jaxson Hayes.
Utilizing ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick platform system to help set transactions like these in perspective, the Pelicans obtained 3,560 points in draft select value (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 for No. 35) compared to 2,450 points going into Atlanta (2,440 to get No. 4; 10 to get No. 57). That is a humongous difference in value. In addition to this, the Pelicans shed Solomon Hill’s $13 million deal. In addition to that, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round pick, which will likely become a set of second-rounders.
This is a heist by Griffin, who continues to conduct a practice in his opening salvo. I am not in love with the Hayes selection at No. 8. He’s a large pick-and-roll dunker from the Tyson Chandler mold, which is a great fit on many rosters. But the Pelicans want shooters about Williamson to reevaluate his athleticism and Hayes hasn’t revealed any variety outside the paint.
The good news is that Hayes has a really good stroke in the free throw line (74 percent last season at Texas), so that he could maybe stretch out and produce a jumper. With that said, Lonzo Ball may shatter the lob record with Williamson and Hayes running in the rim. Sheesh.
By making the trade with Atlanta, the Pelicans have dug out roughly $30 million in cap space, which they may use to purchase more selections down the line or bring in some shooting ability to free up more space for the children. Do not be surprised if Griffin brings in Jared Dudley, who spent four and a half seasons with Griffin at Phoenix, to help coach up the locker room and bring in a 3-and-D existence on the wing.
Oh, and incidentally , they drafted the best potential because LeBron James.
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