Pelicans NBA Draft: Franz Wagner would pair nicely with Zion Williamson

Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans will have five picks entering the upcoming NBA Draft and could use them in a number of ways.

David Griffin said as much in a recent interview, giving some hints that the Pelicans are open for business when it comes to their picks:

"“The pick assets we have give us incredible flexibility. And because we have a young group where most of them are on rookie-scale (contracts) – and other players we’re very high on, we’ve secured for multiple years at affordable numbers – we’ll be able to be aggressive if the right fit exists for us. I think you could see us do virtually anything in that space.”"

One thing is for certain, if the New Orleans Pelicans are going to improve next season and make the playoffs, they are going to have to get an impact player from this draft whether they pick the guy or use the picks to trade for him.

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I have suggested Malcolm Brogdon as a guy they might target in a trade, but there are a number of impact veterans they might be able to land by packaging their picks in a trade.

But what if they keep them? What type of player do they need from the draft?

New Orleans Pelicans: Needs in the NBA Draft

If the Pelicans do keep their five picks, then they definitely need to nail a few of them to add impact talent to this roster.

They need help in a number of areas, particularly defensively, where they could use a tough wing to complement the scoring of Brandon Ingram.

They also need some shooting, as the Pelicans took a nose-dive in 3-point percentage this season that was causing them some spacing issues on offense.

They need overall hustle and toughness, as they were far too soft this season, especially before making the J.J. Redick trade.

What if they could get a guy who checks nearly all of those boxes? That is what they could have in Franz Wagner, a forward out of the University of Michigan.