The New Orleans Pelicans combined with the Los Angeles Lakers to make the biggest splash of the offseason so far, sending superstar Anthony Davis west in return for a collection of young players and a load of draft picks, headlined by this year’s No. 4 overall selection.
Even with the team’s biggest move out of the way, Pelicans vice president David Griffin might still have a few more moves to make.
Where will the Pelicans’ No. 4 pick end up?
ESPN reports that the Pelicans are considering the possibility of trading the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the No. 8 and 10 selections in the same draft.
The Hawks are apparently very interested in moving up in the draft, as ESPN reports that the New York Knicks rejected the same offer for the No. 3 pick.
In addition to the Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 11 pick), Boston Celtics (No. 14, 20 and 22 picks) and Chicago Bulls (No. 7 pick) are also reportedly trying to trade up with the Pelicans, though you’d imagine they’d each have to add some sweeteners to top the Hawks’ offer.
Another report from NBC Sports Washington indicates the team is open to trading the pick for All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal, though the Wizards seem unlikely to bite on that without more coming back.
For the first time in a long time, the Pelicans are in a very good place for the future between their presumptive top overall pick in Zion Williamson, two strong players that are less than 22 years old in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram and a boatload of future draft capital (if the Lakers tank at any point before 2025, the Pelicans will be sitting pretty).
The fourth overall pick could give the Pelicans another solid building block moving forward, though the team might have some more names in mind if they’re seriously considering trading down.
Who will the Pelicans take in the NBA draft?
As much of a lock as the Pelicans’ first selection is, their next selection(s) could be a mystery.
Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, a refined point guard who has drawn Damian Lillard comparisons, is reportedly the Las Vegas favorite to be taken with the pick, though it might not be the Pelicans making the pick.
The Timberwolves, Celtics and Bulls are all reportedly trying to trade up with the Pelicans with Garland in mind, and Garland might not be the best fit for the team given the presence of Ball and underrated star Jrue Holiday.
Other possibilities at No. 4 could be Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver, Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter and North Carolina guard Coby White. If the Pelicans indeed trade back for multiple bites at the middle of the first round, we’ll just have to see who falls to them.
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