You thought the trade hypotheticals were over? Not with the amount of draft capital the New Orleans Pelicans possess it isn’t. The Hawks enter this year’s draft with three first-round selections, could the Pels acquire one and trade down?
The Atlanta Hawks were in a similar situation last year, just played the opposite role. They traded the third overall pick, Luka Doncic, for the 5th selection and a protected pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They’ve also recently made a trade for the Nets pick in the first round, so with all this draft capital could they emerge as favorites to land the New Orleans Pelicans’ 4th overall selection?
But why would the Pelicans look to trade down for assets when they literally have a shipload full of them at the moment. Well, that’s a very good point, but could the Hawks add in someone like Kevin Huerter to sweeten the package? Huerter connected on 1.8 three-point field goals on 38.5 percent as a rookie last year.
Do some quick math, that’s 136 threes last season. Darius Miller led the Pelicans with 133 three-point makes. The Pelicans were abysmal last year from three, and the package they received from the Lakers isn’t exactly going to turn things around in that aspect. They desperately need shooting, Huerter could help alleviate their perimeter woes.
Huerter is more than just a three-point shooter, he’s got good playmaking abilities and athleticism. The Hawks actually may not want to part ways with the 20-year-old. Or they could look at the potential of pairing a Trae Young with a Jarrett Culver and use Huerter as a sacrificial lamb. The NBA really is unforgiving.
Again, the Hawks may not have the star power you would look for in a trade of this magnitude. With big names like Bradley Beal, Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine, and Domantas Sabonis floating around—Huerter falls a little flat. But they do own picks 8,10, and 17 in this upcoming draft.
If they were to package a couple of those aforementioned picks or throw in Huerter, should the Pelicans entertain the idea? There’s plenty of talent to go around with the fourth selection, and this draft is rather top-heavy. But at the 8 or 10 spots, there might be a certain 7’2 center from Oregon available…just saying.
Or could there be a chance the Hawks are willing to take on Solomon Hill’s egregious contract and trade a combination of their first-round picks for the 4th overall selecton? That move would free up significant cap space for the Pelicans and allow for future moves to be made with more draft capital. Again, a good amount of substance here.