Devonte’ Graham trade looking better for David Griffin and Pelicans

Devonte' Graham #4 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Devonte' Graham #4 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Things got worse for the New Orleans Pelicans yesterday when it was announced that Zion Williamson is out indefinitely with soreness in his surgically repaired foot.

The Pels have to accept that he is likely out for the season and try to move on, which is a bummer for those of us who had high hopes for New Orleans this season.

They could try to make some kind of trade to add talent and stay afloat if they actually think Zion is going to come back, otherwise it might be best to just use this as a developmental year for their young core.

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One piece of that is Devonte’ Graham, who has been middling since coming to the Pelicans in a trade, though is still a value contract for his production.

The best part is that if the Pelicans end up in the lottery this season, which is likely, David Griffin’s trade to get Graham will look even better for the Pelicans.

The best part of the Devonte’ Graham trade for the Pelicans

According to Real GM, there are some details in the fine print of the Graham trade that are starting to make David Griffin look pretty smart.

I thought Griffin had an up and down trade deadline and offseason, as he blew it in the Lonzo Ball saga, but did well to nab Herb Jones and Trey Murphy III in the draft and Devonte’ Graham in what is now looking to be a steal of a trade.

Here’s why:

"“New Orleans’ 2022 1st round pick to Charlotte protected for selections 1-14; if this pick falls within its protected range and is therefore not conveyed, then New Orleans will instead convey its 2022 2nd round pick and 2024 2nd round pick to Charlotte.”"

In other words, if the Pels don’t make he playoffs, Graham is only going to cost them a couple of second-round picks, which is a great bargain for a guy on a team-friendly contract who produces.

David Griffin smartly bet that if the Pelicans were at full strength with Zion Williamson that Graham would be enough to push them into the playoffs, which means they wouldn’t miss that first round pick as much.

But that didn’t happen? The Pelicans keep their lottery pick and Graham only costs them two seconds.

I have been critical of the way David Griffin and the Pelicans handled the Zion injury but you can’t complain about this Graham deal, which is starting to look great for the Pelicans.

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