According to reports, the New Orleans Pelicans are attempting to move into the first-round of the 2014 NBA Draft to draft a small forward or center.
On the night of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Pelicans packaged their No. 6 selection and a top-five protected first-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for former All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans No. 6 selection in the 2013 NBA Draft turned into Nerlens Noel, who didn’t appear in a game this season for Philadelphia while recovering from a torn ACL. Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans prized possession in the trade, missed most of last season with a leg injury. Injuries were the story line of the 2013-2014 Pelicans, who finished 34-48 last season. The Jrue Holiday trade leaves the Pelicans with no selections in the 2014 NBA Draft, as the pick was conveyed to Philadelphia as the No. 10 selection this year.
The problem with the Pelicans is that they appear to be short on trade assets to attempt to get back into the first-round. New Orleans would be looking to unload oft-injured guard Eric Gordan and the underachieving Tyreke Evans. Unfortunately, both come with contracts that don’t equal the production they produce on the court, which presents a problem when trying to trade them. However, the Pelicans do still have the rights to Pierre Jackson, who set the NBA’s Development League ablaze this season. Jackson could present an interesting trade chip for the Pelicans. He never appeared in the NBA during his rookie season, but that was because the Pelicans refused to call Jackson up. It’s still doubtful that Jackson could net a first-round selection in this year’s draft alone.
The Pelicans appear to be trying to bandage the mistakes that occurred in the 2013 NBA Draft by moving into the first-round of this year’s NBA Draft. With superstar talent like Anthony Davis in the fold, New Orleans should exhaust all options to surround him with as much talent as possible. However, New Orleans should tread lightly before they create even more problems with their roster.
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