Ranking the Pelicans top 4 draft classes of all-time

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Number three: 2021 - Trey Murphy III, Herb Jones

It's a bit of a hot take (scorching, even) to put this class ahead of the Zion Williamson-led class, but I am obsessed with the Pelicans young wing duo. Murphy III and Jones do everything the modern NBA asks of it's wing players.

Start with Murphy III. A 40% three-point shooter who stands at 6'8" and can guard multiple positions? Sign me up. Murphy is the perfect complimentary piece to surround Zion Williamson with. Not only is he a knockdown spot up shooter, Murphy has developed his all-around floor game to the point where he is dangerous off the bounce, and as a playmaker for his teammates. He's rarely asked to create, but his 2.2 assists in 2023-24 were a career-high and I'd be shocked if that number doesn't steadily increase as he ascends into NBA stardom.

Herb Jones saved my life. A common trope among the Pelicans faithful, but a true statement for a franchise that struggles to attract stars in free agency. Teams like the Pelicans need to hit on late draft picks, and the Herb Jones was a no-doubter, 450-foot home run to center field that cleared the scoreboard.

Jones boasted elite defensive potential as an NBA Draft prospect, and he delivered on that end of the floor almost immediately. He didn't stop there. Jones has turned his shaky jumper into a legitimate weapon. The former Alabama Crimson Tide shot 42% from deep this season, and like Murphy, is an ideal connective piece around a superstar like Zion Williamson.

It's rare to get two solid players from a single draft class, let alone two plus starters. The Pelicans nailed it in 2021.