New Orleans Pelicans: David Griffin better have a plan

Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

David Griffin has had a busy offseason for the New Orleans Pelicans that has largely consisted of cleaning up his own mistakes.

He traded Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams for Jonas Valanciunas, which cost the Pelicans seven spots in the draft and a future first-round pick.

He worked a sign-and-trade with the Bulls for Lonzo Ball, who signed a 4 year $85 million deal to go to Chicago.

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He then did another sign-and-trade deal with the Hornets, sending them a lottery-protected first round pick for Devonte’ Graham, who he then inked to a 4 year, $47 million extension.

While I applaud Griffin for recognizing the flaws and fixing them (sort of), there isn’t much semblance of a plan here and I am not sure how all of these pieces will come together.

I am willing to be patient, as we are still early in the offseason, but if Griffin can’t secure another starting-level player, this offseason could end up looking like a disorganized disaster.

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I am not upset that the Pelicans didn’t want to match that offer for Lonzo Ball. Lonzo is a nice player and I like him, but that’s a lot of scratch for a guy that inconsistent.

But when you look at the overall deal, the Pelicans got nothing back worth talking about (Tomáš Satoranský is an ok role player) for Ball, not uncommon in sign-and-trades, which are not a reflection of the player’s value on the open market.

So why did he then have to give up a first-round pick in the sign-and-trade of Graham? This seems like an overpay for a guy that the Hornets were clearly not going to bring back, as they already have a glut of guards.

The Pelicans have now given away two first-round draft picks this offseason to get off Bledsoe and to retain a bench guard. That’s not a great use of assets.

This is on top of the fact that most of the big-named free agents that were connected to the Pelicans (Lowry, Hardaway Jr. CP3, Powell) all signed with other teams, leaving a fairly pedestrian free-agent group to choose from.

After striking out on all of those guys, the Pels will likely have to make a trade to get another starter, which could mean giving up even more assets.

I hope David Griffin has something up his sleeve and we are just waiting for the second part of his offseason to kick in because this doesn’t look like much of a plan.

I keep seeing all of these “Man behind the curtain” tweets that make Griffin out to be some genius who is just not tipping his hand, but let’s remember that the man behind the curtain was actually a bumbling fool, not a wizard.

The Pelicans might be slightly better next season with these additions, but I don’t see any sort of plan, which is not good for a small market team trying to convince Zion Williamson that this is the best place to win.

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