New Orleans Pelicans: Grade for the Memphis trade, the future
When you look into the future that’s when this trade starts to look a little worse for the Pelicans.
Not only did they give up the 10th pick in a loaded draft, but gave up one of their 2022 first round picks as well, the one that will come from the Lakers.
I did just say that the difference between the 10th and 17th picks might not be that big, but it could also be huge.
If Memphis takes a guy like Davion Mitchell or Josh Giddey and he becomes a star, the Pelicans might regret giving that up just for some cap space and one year of Valanciunas.
The 2022 pick will likely be in the 20’s if the Lakers bounce back and are good again this season but if they aren’t? There is a possibility that the Lakers will have some injuries and miss the playoffs, in which case the Pels just gave up two lottery picks to get off of Bledsoe’s contract, which is a steep price to pay.
Valanciunas is only under contract for one more season, which could be a good thing, as it will open up more cap space, but he is essentially a rental who could leave after this season, leaving the Pels with just the 17th pick to show for their big trade.
I think there are some ways that this trade looks awful in the future, especially if Davion Mitchell becomes the next Donovan Mitchell and the Pelicans make the wrong choice with their cap space.
This could blow up in David Griffin’s face, especially since he only made the trade to cover his own mistakes. If this doesn’t work out, he might be looking for a new job, which is why I can’t give this the future of this trade high marks.