Despite acquiring Omer Asik just last night, Jennifer Hale of Fox Sports New Orleans is reporting that the New Orleans Pelicans are still aggressively trying to trade into the first round of tonight’s 2014 NBA Draft.
However, New Orleans is still hoping to trade up into the first round tonight. The Pelicans are aggressively pursuing a deal to give them an early choice, as they look to bolster their playoff chances next season. The Pelicans biggest areas of need are the small forward and center. If the Asik deal is indeed agreed upon, New Orleans would be shopping tonight for the 3-position.
There are a few things that stand out about this report but the fact the team is looking to acquire an “early choice” is the biggest one. With the acquisition of Asik the obvious need is at small forward so the idea that the Pelicans have decided they need an early choice to get the player they want is strange. This draft is full of small forward prospects so in all reality the team can get a small forward to step in and help anywhere from pick 12 to the second round. My guess is the team is trying to move into the 15-20 range to grab someone like Clemson’s KJ McDaniels but obviously that is just a guess.
What exactly the team will be moving to acquire a pick is still completely unknown. With the Asik trade the Pelicans can’t trade next year’s first round pick anymore to get into this draft and there still needs to be a salary dump of either Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon or Austin Rivers to make the trade work (Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis would also work but none of those players are going anywhere). Of those three only Anderson could potentially land a first round pick so it may be him on the move. Pierre Jackson has been a name that kept popping up but if Rivers is going to be moved and Brian Roberts likely to leave in free agency, Jackson seems in line to be the backup point guard this year.
Obviously things will keep developing throughout the day so make sure to stay tuned to Pelican Debrief for reaction to it all.
Tags: New Orleans Pelicans