Winners and losers of the 2019 NBA Draft

New Orleans Pelicans

Holy cigarettes did Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin web a ton of value for dropping straight back to No. 8. In most years, trading out of the top five of this draft would be a remarkably risky move because draft value will fall off a cliff at the No. 6 pick. But this is not most years; we’ve been hearing for months that the 2019 draft supposed 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 like these in perspective, the Pelicans obtained 3,560 points in draft pick worth (1,970 for No. 8; 1,220 for No. 17; 370 to get No. 35) compared to 2,450 points going to Atlanta (2,440 for No. 4; 10 to get No. 57). That’s a humongous gap in value. On top of this, the Pelicans drop Solomon Hill’s $13 million deal. In addition to that, the Pelicans obtained Cleveland’s 2020 first-round choice, which will probably become a pair of second-rounders.
This was a heist by Griffin, who proceeds to run a clinic in his opening salvo. I am not in love with the Hayes choice at No. 8. He’s a big pick-and-roll dunker in the Tyson Chandler mould, which is a fantastic match on most rosters. But the Pelicans want shooters about Williamson to amplify his athleticism and Hayes has not revealed any variety away from the paint.
The fantastic thing is that Hayes has a really good stroke in the free throw line (74 percent last year at Texas), therefore that he could maybe stretch out and develop a jumper. With that said, Lonzo Ball could shatter the lob record with Williamson and Hayes running at 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 online or earn certain shooting ability to free up more space for the children. Don’t be surprised 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 into a 3-and-D presence around the wing.
Oh, and by the way, they drafted the very best potential because LeBron James.

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