The NBA season has concluded and thus, the offseason has begun. There is a lot of talk and anticipation with the upcoming free agency and the potential destinations of the players involved. However, as we all know, there comes a major step prior to that. The 2018 NBA Draft is right around the corner and some of these selections could determine the outcome of free agency.
This draft class is set to have one of the deepest talent caps that we’ve seen in a long time. With prospects such as Luka Doncic, Mo Bamba, Marvin Bagley, and DeAndre Ayton, the draft class already has a tremendous depth that gives a lot of value to lower ranked teams in the rebuilding stages.
The Pelicans only have the 51st pick in the second round of the draft so we can expect to see their pick around 10 p.m. central time. Their first-round pick was send to Chicago in a trade package for forward Nikola Mirotic earlier in the year. Seeing how the team’s last “successful” pick was forward Anthony Davis back in 2012, there is not much the team can do with that pick based on the history of seemingly irrelevant talent in later second round picks.
Not to mention that the max annual cash limit that can be included in trades. Following the shipping off of forward Quincy Pondexter earlier in the season, the Pelicans now have 2.6 million dollars worth of cash to include in a possible purchase trade of a pick in the early second round. This has proven beneficial for teams such as the Golden State Warriors who acquired guard Patrick McCaw and forward Jordan Bell in this manner.
If they are somehow able to dump center Alexis Ajinca or forward Solomon Hill’s contract come draft day, that would give them a little more flexibility, both in the draft and free agency.
It is always good to stay hopeful and try to get a gem such as an Isaiah Thomas or a Manu Ginobili in the later part of the second round. However, the likelihood of that happening is very slim.
It will be interesting to see how the New Orleans Pelicans possibly maneuver a pick in a trade up situation come draft day. It is unclear as to what pieces would be up for grabs, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Pelicans try for a chance at some young talent in the first round.
The draft will be broadcasted Thursday, June 21 on NBA TV and ESPN at 6:30 p.m. CST.