Winners and losers of the 2019 NBA Draft

New Orleans Pelicans

Holy smokes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin web a ton of value for falling straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading out of the top five of this draft would be a remarkably risky move since draft worth will drop off a cliff at the No. 6 selection. However, this is not most years; we’ve been hearing for weeks that the 2019 draft projected to become unusually shallow following Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. Griffin clearly felt that he could slide back four slots from No. 4 and still receive the player he wanted, center Jaxson Hayes.
Utilizing ESPN’s Kevin Pelton nifty draft pick platform system to help set transactions such as these in perspective, the Pelicans received 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 into 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 contract. On top of this, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round choice, which will likely become 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 choice at No. 8. He’s a big pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a fantastic fit on many rosters. But the Pelicans want shooters about Williamson to amplify his athleticism and Hayes hasn’t shown any variety away from the paint.
The good news is that Hayes has a excellent stroke in the free throw line (74 percent last year at Texas), therefore he can maybe stretch out and produce a jumper. With that said, Lonzo Ball may shatter the lob listing 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 buy more picks down the line or earn some shooting ability to free up more space for the kids. Do not be surprised if Griffin earns Jared Dudley, who spent four and a half seasons with Griffin in Phoenix, to help coach up the locker room and deliver in a 3-and-D presence around the wing.
Oh, and incidentally , they drafted the very best potential because LeBron James.

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