Remembering Devonte’ Graham’s best moment as a Pelican

Devonte' Graham, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Devonte' Graham, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports) /

Earlier today, the New Orleans Pelicans orchestrated a deal with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire Josh Richardson. And as a result of the trade, Devonte’ Graham is no longer a member of the Pelicans.

Graham was in the midst of the second year of a four-year, 47.3-million dollar deal he agreed to when he was acquired by the team in a sign-and-trade deal in 2021. During his time with the team, he appeared in 129 games, averaging 9.2 PPG/3.3 APG/1.9 RPG on 36.4% shooting from the floor and 34.8% from three.

Despite only being with the team for a short time, Graham still managed to solidify himself in the annals of Pelicans’ lore.

His magic moment came last season on December 15, 2021. On that night, the Pelicans were visitors against the Oklahoma City Thunder. And it looked like they were going to escape with a victory until Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drained a 30-foot three-pointer to tie the game at 110, with only 1.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

With such little time and no timeouts left to advance the ball, it looked like New Orleans was going to have to go into overtime against an opponent that was at home and riding the momentum produced by Gilgeous-Alexander’s clutch basket. At that moment, defeat seemed certain. Right?

Not if Graham had anything to say about it.

In the Pelicans’ moment of need, he received the inbounds pass and launched a spirit bomb from the heavens.

That’s money, even if he didn’t call glass before it went in. Graham finished the night with 15 points and eight assists on 5 of 10 shooting from downtown. While it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time for the 9-21 Pelicans, it may very well have been the catalyst to the turnaround that would transpire soon after that. You never know.

Graham might no longer be a Pelican, but he definitely made his mark.