New Orleans Pelicans all-time draft bust starting 5

New Orleans Pelicans, Austin Rivers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans, Austin Rivers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The New Orleans Pelicans are likely to have another lottery pick this summer to add to their already-loaded roster. They have the right to swap draft choices with the Lakers from the Anthony Davis trade, and one of the two is likely to miss the playoffs in the crowded Western Conference. New Orleans already has Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum to build around, and they could be a force for years to come if they can stay healthy.

The Pels have had success in the draft in their 21 years as a franchise. They joined the NBA in 2003, and immediately drafted David West in the middle of the first round. The Pelicans selected Anthony Davis and Zion the two times they had the number one overall pick, and Chris Paul as their only other top-five draft choice.

No team’s track record is perfect in the draft, though. New Orleans has certainly missed on picks, and here is a look at their biggest busts made into a starting five.

PG: Kira Lewis Jr.

It is a bit early to have Lewis Jr. on this list. He was the 13th overall pick in the 2020 draft and is in just his third NBA season. There is still time for him to blossom and reach his ceiling, but the signs of him being a bust are beginning to pile up.

Lewis Jr. played a career-high 16.7 minutes per game as a rookie and that number has steadily declined over his first three years. The 6’1 point guard has dealt with injuries and has failed to earn consistent minutes in his third year when healthy.

He is only 21 years old, and there have been a few positive signs when he has been given the opportunity this season, but he needs to improve significantly if he wants to avoid going down as a bust.

The two point guards the Pelicans drafted in the first round before 2020 are Chris Paul and Darren Collison. Neither player was a bust, so Kira Lewis Jr. and Dyson Daniels were the only two options for this selection. Will Lewis Jr. go down as a bust? It is too soon to tell for certain, but the early signs are leaning that way.