2020 NBA Draft: Will the New Orleans Pelicans trade up?

Evaluating whether or not the New Orleans Pelicans will trade up into the top 10 during the 2020 NBA Draft

Yes, it’s only Wednesday, but this week is already shaking out to be one of the craziest weeks in the New Orleans Pelicans’ franchise history. It all started with the team deciding to trade Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks late Monday night.

Thanks to that trade, the Pelicans have officially stockpiled one of the greatest collections of draft capital in NBA history, which includes two first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft that is only a few hours away.

For anyone that doesn’t know those two first-round picks are the 13th and 24th picks in the NBA Draft, and those picks got me thinking could the New Orleans Pelicans be planning to trade into the top-10 during this upcoming draft?

Why the New Orleans Pelicans might try to trade up in the 2020 NBA Draft

I know it might sound odd to believe that the New Orleans Pelicans will package their two first-round picks and attempt to move into the top-10, but hear me out.

Before the Pelicans sent Jrue Holiday to the Bucks, Sports Illustrated’s trusted NBA Insider, Chris Mannix reported that the Pelicans were seeking a top-10 pick in return for Jrue Holiday. That’s caused me to speculate that maybe the Pelicans had a move in place with a team who had a top-10 pick or at least had some deep conversations about it.

So what happened? Well, I think the Milwaukee Bucks who are desperate to keep their superstar Giannis Antetokunmpo realized that they need Jrue Holiday, and came over the top with a deal the Pelicans couldn’t refuse since it included three first-round picks and two pick-swap options.

Given that, the Pelicans might have passed on trading with a team like the Atlanta Hawks. In a report that corroborated with Mannix’s, the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor had suggested in the tweet above that the Pelicans were interested in trading Jrue Holiday to the Hawks for the 6th pick in this year’s draft. O’Connor reasoned that the Pelicans might want to be in the top-10 so they could draft Flordia State’s, Patrick Williams.

Hmm, so could the Pelicans with three second-round picks still in this draft and all their future first-round picks be willing to use picks 13 and 24 to move up? I think so, especially if they’re targeting a player like Patrick Williams, who teams are starting to view as a player with All-Star potential.

With teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, or Detriot Pistons being prime spots to move down, I really think that in a couple of hours we might see the New Orleans Pelicans make their second blockbuster trade of the night and move up near the top of the 2020 NBA Draft.