For two straight years the Pelicans have traded up to drafted former blue chip high school players with limited college experience who have high-ceiling, low-floor potential. Will we see more of the same this year, or will the Pelicans go in a different direction?
Jake: While Demps certainly has show a history these past two drafts, this year seems different. With just the one pick, I don’t really see a situation where the team uses cash to trade up–that would be better served being included in a trade deadline deal. I think you’ll see a Darius Miller-esq pick of a multi-year starter with a lower-ceiling who can perhaps contribute to the end of the rotation this season.
Jason: I think it’s possible if the right player becomes available at the right spot (see: my Moritz Wagner profile from Thursday), but the Pels have also had higher picks to work with in previous drafts, as well as more assets to deal away. With the team only having pick No. 51, I think it’s more unlikely than in previous drafts that a trade to move up happens, but with Dealer Dell, anything is possible!
Rory: Since Tom Benson bought the team, the general narrative has been that the Pelicans are in “win now” mode. With the team’s first taste of playoff success in the AD era still lingering, winning now is even more of a priority for Dell Demps. While any GM wants to stash young, cheap players, the idea of giving up assets for a project is not as enticing as recent years. If anything, Demps may be inclined to trade back and send out salary should the opportunity present itself.
Raby: Like these guys are saying, the game seems a little different this year. I was getting the vibe while doing my profile on Vincent Edwards that he fits the bill of a guy the Pelicans would want at #51 — experienced in the college game, not a ton of room to grow but reliable and steady. Make no mistake, the best way for someone this low in the draft to contribute is to shore up the bench, which was a weak spot last year, so if they can get a four year player who can at least function right away, I think they’ll go that direction rather than make any moves.