The New Orleans Pelicans landed three players in the 2022 NBA Draft and two of them are poised to make an impact right away, which is going to lead to some tough decisions on the depth chart.
Dyson Daniels is one of the best passers in his class, and is a tough defender who led the entire G-League in steals. He has the length to defend at least three positions and it is going to be a joy to watch him, Herbert Jones and Jose Alvarado terrorize the opposition.
The Pelicans may have gotten the steal of the draft in E.J. Liddell, who unexpectedly fell to them with the 41st pick after an outstanding junior season at Ohio State. Liddell has the length to defend either forward or center, can shoot the 3-ball and may be another second-round pick who ends up in the Pels’ rotation right away.
They also grabbed Karlo Matković with the 52nd pick, a 6-foot-11 forward/center who will probably spend time in the G-League or overseas.
So how is all of this new talent going to affect the Pelicans’ depth chart?
New Orleans Pelicans’ depth chart after the NBA Draft
The Pelicans already have 14 payers under contract for next season, so there are obviously going to be additional moves before the start of the regular season.
Here is how their depth chart shakes out so far:
- CJ McCollum/Jose Alvarado/Kira Lewis Jr.
- Brandon Ingram/Dyson Daniels
- Herbert Jones/Trey Murphy III
- Zion Williamson/Larry Nance Jr./EJ Liddell
- Jonas Valanciunas/Jaxson Hayes/Willy Hernangomez
As you can see, the Pels have too many players at the moment and there are a couple of guys who stick out as trade possibilities.
Jaxson Hayes seems the most out of place and is due for a possible contract extension this summer. It’s going to be a tough decision, as he has a lot of talent but has yet to really put it all together. It’s very possible that Liddell could come in and steal his minutes.
I didn’t even mention Devonte’ Graham, as it is difficult to see how he fits into the rotation now that the Pelicans have added a big guard who can defend. Same with Naji Marshall, who may get pushed out of the rotation (or to another team) after the Pelicans’ draft.
Kira Lewis Jr. could be another guy who is pressed to get minutes in a guard rotation that is now pretty crowded.
The best part is that with both Nance Jr. and Liddell, the New Orleans Pelicans have potential insurance for Zion Williamson.
There aren’t any big holes anywhere and the toughest part of the Pels’ offseason is going to be trying to decide which talented player they have to ship out, which is not a bad place to be.