Post Lottery Mock Draft: New Orleans Pelicans Go International

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Published: May 21, 2013
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So now that the order is set, let’s take a look at how this draft might shake out.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Nerlens Noel, F/C, Kentucky

Small forward is Cleveland’s biggest need, but Noel is a much better prospect than Otto Porter at this point, so Cleveland will take him. A couple years after LeBron left, the Cavs have a nice trio to build around and tons of picks, cap room, and flexibility. All they need now is the Suns training staff.

2. Orlando Magic – Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

The Magic have a lot of good, young pieces but no young floor general to get all these guys the ball. Jameer Nelson can hold down the fort for now, but the future face of this franchise will be Trey Burke.

3. Washington Wizards – Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

Is there a better fit in this draft? Porter, who attended Georgetown right down the road, fills the small forward spot for Washington and gives them a devastating perimeter trio of Wall-Beal-Porter. Not bad. Plus they have Trevor Ariza to help guide him for a year!

4. Charlotte Hornets – Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

The Bobcats Hornets fell two spots today, but they might still get the player that fits their needs best anyway in McLemore. A wing duo of him and MKG gives you tons of athleticism, shooting, and incredible upside.

5. Phoenix Suns – Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

The Suns are in dire need of some perimeter defense and athleticism to play their style of basketball. Not to mention, they have a huge hole at shooting guard. Oladipo solves all their problems.

6. New Orleans Pelicans – Dario Saric, SF, Croatia

If the draft falls like this, Dell will likely be choosing between Saric, Alex Len, Michael Carter-Williams, and trading the pick. I would say that trading the pick is the most likely outcome at this point, but if the Pelicans do keep the pick I think they take Saric and groom him to be the small forward of the future for this franchise. They would have some options with Saric, as they could either bring him along slowly next year and let him play sparingly, or they can choose to let him play in Europe, then bring him over when he is a little more polished. Either way, small forward is obviously the biggest position of need and Dell has been scouting Saric for a few years now, so it could be a perfect fit.

Other Notes and Observations

- I will say two things about this pick

1. Somebody is going to fall. Every year, we think we know who the top five will be and all of a sudden guys rise and guys fall. Last year, I had Andre Drummond going #2 in my mock draft, for instance. On the flip side, I didn’t have Dion Waiters in my top 14. So it is very fluid and the guys to watch here are Alex Len and Anthony Bennett. If one or both of those guys intrigue GM’s ahead of us, one of the better players ahead of us could fall. The problem with that, however, is that both guys just had surgery and won’t be able to wow coaches and GM’s in personal workouts. If someone were to fall, my guess is that it would be Otto Porter. Washington could easily take Anthony Bennet and if that happens, Porter could fall right into our laps.

2. The Pelicans will look hard to move this pick. Eric Bledsoe, Chandler Parsons, and Demar Derozen. Guys like this will be targeted by Dell and if he can add a young veteran who can help the team short term and long term, I think he moves the pick.

- The salary cap hit for the 6th pick is approximately 2.6 million. If the Pelicans keep the pick, they are looking at approximately $14-$16 million in cap room this summer depending on what they set the cap at this summer.

- Did you notce that Monty made it a point to mention Austin Rivers when the reporter spoke to him prior to the picks being announced. I am paraphrasing, but she said something like, “You got the #1 pick and Anthony Davis last year. How great would it be if you won the lottery again tonight?” and he said, “Yes, we were incredibly luck to get Anthony AND Austin Rivers last year, so another top pick would be a blessing.” She didnt say anything about Rivers. He did. I just took it as even more evidence that they still believe Rivers is a big part of the future, and if that is the case, I don’t think they will be looking to add a guard with this pick.

- Leave your mock in the comments and get ready for the Sixth Pick Tournament coming this way later this week!

129 comments
Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I've a 3 team trade NO-BOS-DEN

Pelicans get:Wilson Chandler,Danlio Gallinarli and the Nuggets 27th pick

Celtics get Eric Gordon

The Nuggets get Paul Pierce,Avery Bradley and the Celtic 16th pick

The Pelicans draft Trey Burke (PG) Michigan and 27th pick Lucas Nogueria (C) Brazil

daThRONe
daThRONe

Varejao contract isn't outrageous. He's due 9mil this year and 9.8 the next with is partly guaranteed. This team has a ton of cap space as well. Zeller most certainly isn't the prospect Noel is, however the two combine make C a position that the Cavs don't have to gamble on if they aren't comfortable with Nerlens.

Porter is seen as the consensus 3rd best player in the draft. He's considered a safe pick for a team that has what it believes is it Batman and Robin. And based on Dan Gilbert wants to start winning ASAP.

Noel may be the odds favorite, but far from a lock IMO.

Irving is still injury prone but coming out of college his ankle issue is wasn't close to Noel knee.

jdtufts10
jdtufts10

Drafting Sariac would be a big time mistake in my mind. He is a guy with a HUGE risk over him, and at his finest product would be another role player, not an all-star. I think our best bet if none of those top 5 guys drop to 6 would be just to trade the pick or throw it into some kind of package along with some players in order to land some young vets like McNamara talks about. Maybe like a 6th overall Grevis & Lopez for Bledsoe and Jordon? However, if Dell cant make a move with the pick and is forced to use it, I think he should go with Shabazz Muhammad. I say this because this is a guy who has a TON of potential and is one of a few guys in this draft class, that has the potential to be a star. Why not take a shot at Shabazz and at worst, if he cant become a great all around player, there is one thing he can for sure do, and that is score, and well all know there Is a demand for that in the NBA.

jsl05
jsl05

 What I think/What I'd do

1. Porter/Noel

2. Noel/Oladipo

3. Bennett/Porter

4. McLemore/McLemore

5. Oladipo/Len

6. Len/Caldwell-Pope

usnfish
usnfish

I do find it interesting that few of the Mock Draft's I've looked at today have Burke going to Orlando.  Chad Ford is the only national mock draft of note I've seen come to that conclusion.  

CBS Sports, Draft Express, Sports Illustrated, Hoopsworld, WalterFootball.com, NBADraft.net, NBA.com

All these sources put Burke available at #6.  All but Draft Express mock the Pelicans selecting Burke.  It is difficult to accept that the only people plugged into the New Orleans Front Office are Chad Ford and the writers here.    

The idea the pick "will be traded" is a reach.  If only because Washington is also rumored to be shopping their pick.  Lottery teams trying to trade out of the lottery will diminish the value the Pelicans can receive in return.  

504ever
504ever

The quote from Monte reminds me of parents with one child who is clearly superior to the other child in some way.  When you compliment the parent about their superior child's superior ability, they often mention their other child in a way that makes it seem like the two children are equal.  This is especially true if one of the children is listening, or in Monty's case watching TV, but the parent's statement never changes reality.  I don't view Monty's statement as reflection of reality either, just a desire to appear even handed.  

Rivers is still a back-up combo guard with no unique/special skill that is deserving of playing time.  Even if he does develop, he may never have a true position that he can start at effectively.  In today's "pick and" offensive game, Rivers is neither a quality shooter or driver.  The best thing anyone can say about him is his defense has improved to the point where he was an acceptable 2nd team defender.  That's not much.  

Now management may chose not to draft best player available if he is a PG, but they do so at their own expense (literally).  If one of these PGs with strong college careers, some of whom have great camp numbers too, become a big deal in the NBA, Dell and Monty will look foolish for passing on them (especially if/when they outshine Rivers).  That's the huge risk Dell and Monty run.

Drafting a big at 6 is fraught with danger.  Len underperformed his athleticism in college and currently has a bad wheel.  Zeller played like a sissy, avoiding contact and not playing well when it did happen, in college.  How do you think he will he do in the rough and tumble NBA?

Dell and Monty have a month to make a good plan for the off season that include the 6th pick.  I expect them to do it, but it won't be easy.  This is why they get the big bucks.


yaboytonez
yaboytonez

In high school Magic Johnson could dunk, he flew up and down the court, he had a swmblence of an offensive game, and he was a playmaker. Chad Ford says Dario Saric could be the next Magic based on flashes in a pan. My "studying" continues. Join me fellow Pelicans!

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

I like the idea of Burke at 6. Scott Van Pelt of ESPN doesn't like Noel or Porter. Saying Porter is too small and that all Noel can do is block shots.

jamrenaissance
jamrenaissance

Food for thought: CBSSports' Jeff Goodman has the Pelicans taking Trey Burke at #6 (#1:Noel, #2McElmore, #3 Bennett, #4 Len, #5Olipido), saying the following:

Trey Burke, PG, Michigan: Another guard for the Hornets? Yes. Another guard. Look, you can't count on Austin Rivers improving. Eric Gordon has been a malcontent. And Greivis Vasquez was wonderful but would be even moreso as a reserve. This gives them a combo scoring guard, makes Gordon movable and gives them a leader. Sold. 

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/draft/fullnbamockdraft-JeffGoodman

 In looking at it, it does make sense for Burke to drop. The only team ahead of us with any kind of need for a PG is Orlando, and I can't see passing on McElmore if he's available, based on the reports I have read.

In the predictions, I had us at #6 with Michael Carter-Williams, as I did not think Burke would fall that far. It looks like, no matter what, we do have a chance at getting a solid piece of the puzzle. Perhaps not a star or an All-Star, but definitely a solid pick.

Mkerrigan1
Mkerrigan1

This is kind of off the subject but what does everybody think about EG for Pau Gasol straight up trade?

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Accarding to ESPN Demps is willing to trade that 6th pick.

lsutigers33
lsutigers33

is Saric that good at 6?  would we make the trade at 13 and take Saric?


Is EG more valuable than the 5 pick to phx?


Would love to make both moves.

daThRONe
daThRONe

Ok how I see the top 6 going

Cavs- Porter

Magic- Noel

Wizards- Bennett

Bobcats- McElmore

Suns- Oladipo

NOLA- Burke

I don't think Cleveland goes Noel. I think they want to win now. Not only will Noel knee prevent that his weight is an issue for a guy with the skillset of a 5. Lets not forget they went Waiters last year when many thought that was a major stretch. Porter fits the there only need and they have been very high on him the whole process.

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

Looking forward to the draft. Somebody always falls so they say. I will be on pins and needles until then.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Europenan talent has decline over the years alot of these guys don't mind being drafted but will be draft and stash.Saric would be a player that might not play in the states til 2014 or 15.The Pelicans need Burke or Shabazz.

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

@jdtufts10It's funny that you used "role player" to describe Sariac because you can expect Monty to attempt to build our team with just that.....role players.  I'm not saying it will be a good or bad thing to draft him and I don't have an opinion other than that.  That's what Monty believes in and that's what he was in the NBA.  To me you just justified getting him.....

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@usnfish I will let you in on a secret: NObody is "plugged in". The reason? Because even Dell has no idea how the next 35 days will play out. If he has already made up his mind, if Orlando has, heck if Cleveland has, then those are terrible GM's. This process still has a LONG way to go. Every mock draft you see is a complete guess. Maybe a day or two before the draft a few things might leak, but until then everyone is just giving educated guesses. 

MasonGinsberg
MasonGinsberg moderator

@yaboytonez upon first glance, I don't think I'd give one bit of credibility to that site.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I've seen his videos he have a offensive game which is what the Pels ned at the same time he really don't play much defense.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

It's true about Noel he's a defensive center he wont be depened on scoring unless a team can fix the kinks in his offensive play as for Porter he is undersize at SF he looks more like SG at best he's a offensive sf/sg his defense is a weakness and at his size he can get walked all over by bigger opponets.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@jamrenaissance I have gone through nearly 20 possible scenarios this morning and I really believe either Burke or Porter will be there at 6. 

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Draft Express have the Pels taking Alex Len at 6 lol.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

No way for one reason we've Ryan Anderson at PF unless you moving Gasol to center that maybe could make sense.

Mkerrigan1
Mkerrigan1

I think they def like him better than 6. They would have to really sweeten a deal for us to give up EG. I really don't know if they have the pieces to make us deal. Maybe Dragic but I don't see the suns giving him up!!

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

It's the Cavs they're despertate.I mean Phil Jackson laughed in their faces when they offered the HC job to him.

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

@Papa Pelican Speaking of Burke, I would agree if he's avail grab him and I have no doubt that we will.  But help a novice out will you?  How does the lineup look with Austin once we do that?  Put him at SG, or move our Most Improved Player in the NBA (He should've one the title) Grievis thru trade and go Burke/Austin or vice versa?

jdtufts10
jdtufts10

@BigBLDavis Hahahah very true... but as it comes down to our needs at SF, I would take a Shabazz over Sariac any day of the week because Sariac is a good 3-4 years from being able to produce at the NBA level like we would need him to be. Where as Shabazz could come in on day one and make an impact and be a useful player for us and a viable scoring option. I feel like Dell is a good evaluator of talent and understands that we need players who can come in and make an impact, as opposed to babying through the Euro league and D-League for a few years. I would be shocked if he actually took Sariac with the pick.

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

I will definitely take your word for it.

jdtufts10
jdtufts10

@Papa Pelican @yaboytonez He looked really good because everyone on the court was really slow and white. Whats going to happen when he has an NBA defender on him? That is the problem with most European players is that they are not used to playing against world class athletes that are bigger faster and stronger than most of them, so when they make it to the NBA they are shell shocked and have a tough time being productive at both ends of the court. Even some of the best European prospects like a Ricky Rubio haven't really cracked up to what they were thought to be.

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

I think we need more athletic players. We could use some more defense as well but if we want to draft someone who is all offense there are better options to be had no? Trading the pick is still an option.

jamrenaissance
jamrenaissance

@Michael McNamara @jamrenaissance Well, the only team before us that makes sense taking Burke is Orlando. Similarly, I haven't seen anything that says the Cavs take anyone other than Noel or, as stretch, Porter. So, the question becomes "Do they think Burke is better than McElmore or whoever is left between Noel and Porter?". I'm guessing the answer is "no", which leaves Burke to fall to New Orleans.

Actually, there is one other scenario I see - PHX trading Dragic and taking Burke with the pick. Of course, I only see that as part of a scenario where PHX has agreed in principle with the New Orleans to trade Gordon for something along the lines of a Dragic/Gortat combo, but (a) they wouldn't be able to officially consummate that by draft day, IIRC, so PHX would really be putting themselves out there by taking that chance, and (b) I can't see New Orleans not wanting that #5 pick as part of a package for Gordon.

dbeard06
dbeard06

More and more, Len, Carter-Williams, or a trade are more likely scenarios at #6.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@Papa Pelican I dont know why that is lol. It is a very real possibility. Dell wanted Meyers Leonard at 10 if Rivers was off the board last year. Len is far better than Leonard was coming out

Mkerrigan1
Mkerrigan1

I believe gasol has the skills to play center with no problem!! Especially looking at who else we could get at center. Jefferson is the next best option. I don't see anyone good enough to draft at 6. Just a thought.

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

@daThRONe True, but with Monty's father like feelings towards him, and us using the 10th to get him, I fell like they are going to try hard to make him a starter.  Next season will tell a lot on that theory.

daThRONe
daThRONe

He can fit the 6th man role if not the starting SG.

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

@Papa Pelican That's what I was thinking, but I was afraid that Austin size and D was a problem being the starting SG.

BigBLDavis
BigBLDavis

@jdtufts10 I can't even begin to debate you on who to pick because I wouldn't pick anyone at 6th if the draft falls like this mock has it.  I'm all for trading down, but finding the right trade partner could be a harder decision than picking 6th.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@Papa Pelican If he stays relatively injury free, I think he will be a 15 and 9 guy with 2 blocks who plays solid defense both in the post and in the pick and roll. Basically, a bigger and better version of Spencer Hawes

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Do you think in 5 years Len would be a top 10 center?

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I deeply agree because despite Gasol's age he have at east 2 to 4 years left in the tank.I perfer Jefferson because he's a scorer and bigger than Rob Lopez.The Pels need a bigger body at center hands down!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Pelicans participated in the first NBA draft under than name, receiving the most likely outcome: the sixth pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, June 27. While perceived as a `move back’ due to the Pelicans having the 5th highest chance of [...]

  2. [...] though I had Dario Saric going sixth to us in my first mock draft on the night of the draft lottery, I wasn’t as confident as when I predicted Rivers would be [...]