The New Orleans Pelicans may look for someone in the NBA Draft who can step in and play.
The New Orleans Pelicans had a NBA Draft for the ages last year.
Not only did they get franchise cornerstone Zion Williamson, but made a lot of moves that ended up getting mixed reviews.
The Pelicans traded Jordan Bone, Solomon Hill, De’Andre Hunter and a 2023 2nd round draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes, Marcos Louzada Silva and a 2020 1st round draft pick.
While the Zion pick was a fairly obvious home run, he still played just 24 games, so he was great when in there, he ultimately didn’t contribute much.
Same for Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who did get some minutes, but were inconsistent and both could have used more time in the G-League.
Didi Louzada played 20 games in the NBL and is more likely to start next season in the G-League than on the roster.
The Pels got a lot of potential in last year’s draft, but little production, which is why this year they may look for guys who are ready to step in a play, even if they don’t have the tantalizing ceiling of someone like Jaxson Hayes.
Last year’s draft was loaded with such players, guys who were a bit older when they were drafted, a little more developed and mature and much readier to contribute.
Guys like De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Porter Jr., Eric Paschall, Rui Hachimura, P.J. Washington, Terence Davis, Kendrick Nunn and Brandon Clarke were all “older” prospects who were somewhat overlooked because they weren’t 18-years-old at the draft.
None of these guys have the ceiling of a Zion, but all contributed in their first season and look to be solid players moving forward.
With so much youth, the Pelicans may decide to go with a little more experience in the drat to find guys who can produce right away.
Here are three who could be rookie contributors.