Despite acquiring Omer Asik last night the New Orleans Pelicans still want to get into the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft tonight according to some rumors earlier today. Exactly how they plan to do that, or who they plan to get, is still unknown but the opportunities are there for the Pelicans to make a move. They have some assets (Pierre Jackson, Austin Rivers, maybe Ryan Anderson) and a group of teams that have multiple first round picks more than likely will be willing to move some of them thanks to roster space limitations for some and just flat-out being cheap for others. Who exactly are those teams? Lets take a look:
Phoenix Suns: The Suns,, coming off an unexpectedly terrific year have three first round picks in this draft at 14, 18 and 27. The team also has a fairly full roster and a big deal for Eric Bledsoe possibly looming. The Suns management is smart so there is a very good chance they package a few of these picks to move up or just draft-and-stash a player or two like Dario Saric and Walter Tavares. But for the right price one of these picks may be available. The Suns have reportedly been talking to teams about point guards so maybe the low-cost of Pierre Jackson intrigues them. Or maybe with the opt-out of Channing Frye the Suns would have interest in Ryan Anderson. Either way, keep an eye on what Phoenix is doing.
Chicago Bulls:The Bulls are notoriously cheap and right now are set to pick at numbers 16 and 19. The team has reportedly been trying to move the picks as a package to move up in the draft so there is a chance that they won’t be looking to move them for an established player. But if they cannot find a team willing to move back there is a chance that management is unwilling to pay two first rounders so they may try to find a cheaper alternative. What really hurts the chances of some team trading into the draft to get one of the Bulls picks is Dario Saric’s decision to stay overseas another two years. The Bulls reportedly have interest in Saric and have shown a willingness in the past to wait on players to come over to the NBA. If they like Saric taking him with one pick and a player to contribute next year with the other makes a lot of sense.
Boston Celtics: I don’t expect this to happen at all but with Danny Ainge in charge you never quite know. The Celtics have two picks in the first round at six (seemingly not available) and 17, which is where things get interesting. If Dario Saric is gone and the Celtics don’t like anyone else on the board they may be willing to take a chance on someone like Pierre Jackson in a pure asset gathering move. I don’t think it is at all likely but weirder things have happened.
Miami Heat: The Heat have been rumored to be trying to move up in the draft for Shabazz Napier but if he is gone things get interesting. With Mario Chalmers a free agent and Norris Cole, well Norris Cole, the Heat need to upgrade at point guard. It remains to be seen if Pierre Jackson would be that but maybe, just maybe he would be someone who Pat Reilly would be willing to take a chance on. Another unlikely option but with LeBron James a free agent and the team seemingly locked in on one player you never know what happens if that player is taken.
In all reality there is probably a greater chance that the Pelicans can’t find a way into the 2014 draft. With teams trying to hoard cap space for free agency this year there is a good chance that the middle and late first rounds turn into draft-and-stash time for teams who can take a chance on a high risk player without him counting against the cap. There is also the likelihood the team finds a way to make a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers or Milwaukee Bucks for a second round pick as both teams have more than they can probably use. Either way we are in for a fun night so make sure you stay tuned to Pelican Debrief for the latest rumors, news and reactions.
Tags: New Orleans Pelicans