The New Orleans Pelicans have a lot at stake when they re-start the season in Orlando, including their spot in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The New Orleans Pelicans will be busy on draft night.
With four picks in the 2020 NBA Draft (one in the first round, three in the second) and a lot of young players already on the roster, it’s likely that the Pels will be involved in some draft day trades.
Their position will also be affected by the eight-game conclusion of the season, when the Pels could move up or down in the draft depending on how they perform.
The New Orleans Pelicans do have a path to the playoffs, though it will be tough, as they will have to beat Portland by at least a game to force a play-in series where they would have to beat the Memphis Grizzlies two games in a row to secure the 8th seed.
It seems like a lot, but if the Pelicans can go at least 5-3 in their final eight games, they’ll have a good chance to at least force that play-in series with the Grizzlies, and from there, anything can happen.
If the Pelicans make the playoffs, they will drop out of the lottery, down to the 17th pick, which isn’t a drastic drop, but probably enough to prevent them from getting prospects like Devin Vassell or Saddiq Bey.
There will still be some intriguing players available, but the Pelicans could decide to try and trade out of this draft altogether if there isn’t a guy they like still on the board.
We used the Tankathon Draft Simulator to decide the draft order, and will pretend for the sake of argument that all of these teams will actually keep their picks.
Here is our NBA 2020 Mock Draft 4.0, where the New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs.