The New Orleans Pelicans hold the No. 6 overall pick in the NBA Draft after a disastrous season that saw them slip to the third-worst record in the Western Conference. However, it does give them the opportunity to draft a high quality player - or to use as a trade chip. Here's all the latest Pelicans draft news and rumors:
Pelicans to acquire Okafor in three-team trade?
New Orleans is doing whatever they can to add quality players around Anthony Davis this offseason. According to Fansided's Bret Stuter, the Pelicans are in talks about a trade with the Lakers and 76ers to make that happen.
New Orleans would receive Jahlil Okafor from Philadelphia, who would get D'Angelo Russell from the Lakers, who would get the No. 6 overall pick from the Pelicans.
The pieces exchanged by the Pelicans for Russell in that scenario are the sixth overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft. That pick gives the Lakers an opportunity to exercise a mulligan for the back court, selecting any of several possible pieces at six — all the while preserving their second overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft. In essence, the team could walk away from the draft with Brandon Ingram and a top point guard.
The Philadelphia 76ers would exchange Okafor for New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca, as well as Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell. Why Ajinca? He is the center brought to the Toronto Raptors by Colangelo back in 2011, a veteran presence in the front court which gives Colangelo that veteran presence off the bench. But the other piece is D’Angelo Russell, a point guard whose strengths lie in shooting — the perfect match in a lineup where the ball handling migrates to the Ben Simmons, who is expected to take on a point forward role.
Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a rookie, giving New Orleans another dominant offensive player. His defensive deficiencies would also be masked by Davis' shot-blocking ability.
Targeting Dunn with pick?
If the Pelicans do end up keeping the pick, they are targeting Providence point guard Kris Dunn. According to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, he is trying to avoid being drafted by the Celtics and Suns and towards the Pelicans:
Representatives for Providence’s Kris Dunn don’t want him to go to a team with a young point guard already in place and may refuse to release his medical records to the Celtics and Suns.
Boston has Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart at the position, while Phoenix has Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. Considering the praise Dunn gave New Orleans at the NBA Combine, it looks like he is trying to angle his way to the Pelicans.
''For any point guard who's going there, who wouldn't want to play with Anthony Davis,'' he said. ''He's definitely a superstar, up there with LeBron (James) and all those guys. To be able to play with a guy like that, it's only going to help me.''
That just leaves the Timberwolves between Dunn and Pelicans, who have their eyes on him as well, but are also targeting shooters. Dunn averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game last season.Back to the New Orleans Pelicans Newsfeed