New Orleans Pelicans: 5 best NBA Draft picks in team history

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, David West, NBA Draft
David West #30 and Marco Belinelli #8 of the New Orleans Hornets (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have a short history compared to other NBA teams, but they’ve also been incredibly lucky in the NBA Draft, which has led to some great players coming to the Big Easy.

We took a look at the five best NBA Draft picks in team history.

New Orleans Pelicans’ best picks of the NBA Draft:  No. 5- J.R. Smith

With the 18th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the Hornets selected JR Smith out of St. Benedict’s High School. In his two-year stint in New Orleans, Smith averaged 9.2 PPG on 39 percent shooting. JR probably would have had a better career in New Orleans if it wasn’t for the coaching style of Byron Scott.

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In July of 2006, the Hornets traded Smith and PJ Brown to the Bulls in exchange for Tyson Chandler. JR Smith was later traded from the Bulls to the Denver Nuggets before eventually winning a ring as a key role player for the Cavaliers.

New Orleans Pelicans’ best picks of the NBA Draft:  No. 4- David West

Getting drafted in 2003 by the Hornets with the 18th overall pick, David West was a star and one of the most popular players in team history. He played in New Orleans from 2003-2011 and made two All-Star appearances.

During his eight-year tenure on the team,  West averaged 16 PPG, 7 RPG, and 2 APG. He has 8,690 career points with the Pelicans; the second-most in team history. He was a cornerstone for the Hornets/Pelicans and really put the team on the map.