The New Orleans Pelicans have enough draft capital and young player to make a power-play in the star-studded 2021 NBA Draft
For the New Orleans Pelicans, it’s never too early to look ahead. That’s why even though the 2020 NBA Draft just concluded, many evaluators and even some teams are already starting to look at the event in 2021.
Now I understand that the 2021 NBA Draft is a long time from now, and if this year has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is guaranteed and unforeseen circumstances can always change the future.
Still, from where I and the rest of the NBA Draft evaluators stand today, the 2021 class is looking like it’s going to be a monumental one filled with All-Star caliber players. Pretty much all of these players have yet to play a post-high school game yet, but scouts are already talking about Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and BJ Boston as can’t miss prospects who will be the future of the NBA.
Just reading a few posts about the hype surrounding this draft class got me thinking, did the New Orleans Pelicans punt on the 2020 NBA Draft for a reason?
Why the New Orleans Pelicans might be loading up to make a move in the 2021 NBA Draft
It might sound a bit crazy that the Pelicans are already projecting so far into the franchise’s future but I wouldn’t doubt that someone in the organization’s front office put the idea out there that the Pelicans should do everything they can to be a player in next year’s draft.
Just think about it this way, if we talked about the New Orleans Pelicans without considering the number of assets they’ve built up, we’d say that the only way the Pelicans are getting one of the marquee players in next year’s draft is if they tank the season for them.
Since this Pelicans team already has too much young talent on its roster, there’s no way that they’ll be bad enough to tank for one of those prospects, unless someone is injured.
So what if we’ve been looking at this wrong way, and maybe the New Orleans Pelicans are gearing up to cash their assets in on a major trade-up rather in next year’s draft rather than attempting to acquire a proven star.
The idea sounds crazy, but it actually has a lot of logic to it. The 2021 NBA Draft class is one of those classes where there are surefire top picks, so essentially we can view those players as young stars. If the Pelicans make a “godfather” type of offer to move into the top-3, they’d get one of those young stars onto their team on a rookie deal that’ll essentially keep them on the roster for at least 7-8 years.
Now I’ll ask you, would you want the Pelicans to trade all of their picks to get a player like Cade Cunningham or Josh Green for at least seven years, or trade those assets away to get Bradley Beal for only three?
It’s a tough choice if those players end up being who we think they are. We recently wrote that the Pelicans might be planning on moving their assets to create a superteam in near future, but given this draft’s reputation and the staff the organization has put in place, the team might decide to push their chips in during next year’s draft and create one of the greatest young cores in NBA history.