Could the Pelicans trade up in the 2022 NBA Draft?

Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith (10)
Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith (10) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, 2022 NBA Draft, Pelicans draft
People look at the draft lottery order after the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery at McCormick Place. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans will have the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and have a lot of options.

They are the only team in the lottery that also made the playoffs, and they have 14 players under contract already, so the Pelicans are in a great spot.

They can just add the best player available regardless of position, as they don’t have a huge weakness in their roster.

New Orleans also their own future draft picks to go along with picks from the Lakers and Bucks, so they are set up for sustained success or have the assets to make a big move.

Related Story. Should the Pelicans be patient or go for a big trade?. light

One move to consider would be to try and package some of those picks to move up in the 2022 NBA Draft to get a guy who could give the Pelicans a future dynasty.

Is it even possible for the New Orleans Pelicans to trade up in the 2022 NBA Draft?

We’ve definitely seen big draft day trades recently in the NBA, most notably with teams like the Mavericks (who traded up to get Luka) and Celtics (who traded back to get Tatum), so it’s not impossible.

It also might be smart, as the Pelicans are on the verge of being good, so their future draft picks are less likely to be lottery picks. This may be their last chance for a while to add a top-10 pick.

This is a draft with three standouts (Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero), and either Smith or Holmgren would be excellent fits with the Pelicans and give them a young core that was set up to win now and well into the future.

With future drafts more of an uncertainty, the Pelicans could pile together a package of picks to try and move up, and who loves draft picks more than the Oklahoma City Thunder?

The Thunder have the #2 pick and could be the perfect team for the New Orleans Pelicans to target if they want to move up in the 2022 NBA Draft.