Sixth Pick Tournament Round Two: Trade Down vs. Victor Oladipo

Published: June 13, 2013

Why the New Orleans Pelicans need to Trade Down (Jake Madison)

Two words: Asset Collection.

With the less than stellar free agent class (in terms of players the Pelicans have a realistic shot at), if the team wants to bring in anyone of tremendous quality then it’ll have to be through a trade. The problem is the Pelicans have virtually no trade assets–right now. Robin Lopez has potential to be moved but you’re in denial if you think he’d bring the Pelicans a key player back in return. There is also Jason Smith but he’s not exactly a hot commodity throughout the league. Basically, if the Pelicans want to bring in a quality player, they’re going to have to trade Ryan Anderson which is not something I’d be okay with–and I hope you wouldn’t either.

Take a look at the trades Mason proposed.

1) New Orleans receives the 9th and 26th picks, Minnesota receives the 6th pick

Rationale: By making this deal with the Timberwolves, the Pelicans would gain a late-first round pick in exchange for moving down from 6th to 9th. If there is no player that the New Orleans is in love with, this trade is one that makes a lot of sense, as the drop-off in talent from 6 to 9 should not be terribly large.

2) New Orleans receives the 12th, 29th, & 32nd picks, Oklahoma City receives the 6th pick

Rationale: Very similar to the proposed Timberwolves trade, except that they fall three additional spots with the top two picks and gain an additional pick at the top of the second round (which is potentially more valuable than the 29th pick due to different contract rules for second round picks).

3) New Orleans receives Alec Burks, the 14th pick, & the 21st pick, Utah receives Greivis Vasquez & the 6th pick

Rationale: People may look at this deal and immediately revolt, but it should be one that the Pelicans strongly consider. New Orleans knows that Greivis isn’t the long-term answer at starting point guard and that he will probably get offered more money as a restricted free agent in 2014 than they feel he’s worth. With that in mind, this summer could very well be the ideal time to move him. The Pelicans receive two mid-first round picks in addition to a talented 21 year old 6’6” guard who was the 12th pick in the 2011 NBA draft in exchange for Vasquez and the 6th pick.

4) New Orleans receives the 17th, 18th, 47th, & 50th picks, Atlanta receives the 6th pick

Rationale: Monty’s head might explode if the team added four more rookies to the roster, but if this deal went down, at least one of the picks would be used on a player who would stay overseas for a year or two, and the two seconds round picks could be included in other kinds of transactions.


Don’t think the moves simply end with the trades. Having multiple first round picks allows Dell Demps to have more trade options. As I’ve written about before, Demps is always thinking a move or two ahead.  Expect those picks to be packaged for another player.

In last season’s James Harden trade, Houston shipped three pick (two first rounders) along with a rookie (Jeremy Lamb) and Kevin Martin. I’m not saying the Pelicans have shot at a trade like that, but they can’t make a move without some of the assets needed.

The Pelicans have too much youth on the team as is. They have the league’s second youngest team. By trading down Dell can create a strong package of players and picks to bring in a talented young veteran that Monty craves.

Now let’s talk about Victor Oladipo.

Honestly, I like him as a prospect, but I’m not even remotely sold on him.

He saw great improvement this year, and while that’s great I wonder if it is sustainable. His 3-point shooting skyrocketed 23.3% but the sample size of 68 attempts is pretty small. I’m not sure he can keep up that type of percentage throughout an NBA season. It’s also worth pointing out that his 3-point shooting got worse from his freshman to sophomore year. I want prospects continually trending upwards, not going both up and down.

I also worry about him scoring in the NBA. Yes his defense is great, but the Pelicans need a scorer–particularly someone who can create his own offense. Oladipo’s 13.6 points per game isn’t exactly sexy. If you watch film of his, Oladipo always goes to his right. That might work in college but NBA defenses will take that away. Once that happens I worry about how he’ll play.

Lastly, I want to take you back to the 2010 draft. The Hornets were picking at 11 and positioned to take Cole Aldrich. Instead, the team traded the pick to the Thunder who had two first round picks. The team eventually turned those two picks into Jason Smith and Greivis Vasquez, and a bunch of cap room. However, at the time it was disappointing to trade the pick. But looking back on it, it’s hard to see that trade as anything but positive for the team. For his career, Aldrich has averaged 7.9 minutes per game and a whopping 2 points per game.

It’s easy to get excited about picking in the lottery, but remember that it doesn’t always work out. Trading down is a much better option as you have greater control of what the ultimate outcome will be.

The Case for Victor Oladipo (Reed)

A more in depth summary of Oladipo’s strengths and potential can be found here (

The general conclusion you should arrive at, if you agree with my evaluation of Oladipo, is that he possesses star potential. Too often pigeon-holed as a defensive specialist, Oladipo offers an intriguing combination of length, athleticism, high efficiency scoring, and a budding on-the-ball game, which sets his ceiling in the Dwayne Wade range. Defense, long considered a foundation of Monty-coached teams, is actually one of the Pelicans’ biggest weakness, particularly perimeter defense. Guard penetration was all too frequent, leading to countless defensive breakdowns over the course of the season, which in turns slows the offense, which in turn puts more pressure on the defense, etc. A player who can help to alleviate both of those problems, both as an impact defender and an efficient scorer with the potential to get to the rim, is a rare commodity in the game.

My argument for Oladipo and against trading down is predicated on this belief: that in the NBA, it’s better to have one impact/star player than it is to have two good role players. And that is the best case scenario. Maybe you trade down and with those two lesser picks, you get two solid role players. But what if you land Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons? Every fan base has high hopes for their 1st round picks when they draft them. The sky is the limit before they ever play a game. Remember the excitement the night Julian Wright fell to us. Fans from way back – remember talking yourself into Kirk Haston or George Zidek being good picks? We are doing the same thing now with the Sergey Karasev’s and Gorgui Dieng’s of the world. We are imagining them in their the best light, but the truth is that there are far more Fab Melo’s and Christian Eyenga’s in the 20’s and 30’s than there are Taj Gibson’s or Josh Howard’s.

And besides, hasn’t Dell Demps shown us he can get solid role players any time he wants? Jason Smith, Willie Green, Marco Belinelli, Gustavo Ayon, Brian Roberts – all picked up for little to nothing. Dell can find those guys in his sleep. Why would you give up the opportunity to draft a potential star just to get two solid players that you can otherwise get at the end of free agency, in the NBDL, in a Euroleague, or in an under the radar trade?

The answer – you wouldn’t. And YOU won’t. Because you will vote Oladipo.
[polldaddy poll=7174174]

For all Sixth Pick Tournament Matchups and the Bracket, click here.


  1. daThRONe

    June 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I choose Oladipo for two reason.
    1 He has the potential to be big time you have to swing for the fences. This is a guy that has more experience than most of the “upside” rookies. But most importantly he’s a tireless worker.
    2 I think plenty of teams will be selling their draft picks. So we should be able to get those later draft picks while maintaining our 6th pick.

  2. nolafredo

    June 13, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Had to go with Oladipo.  His ability to impact both ends of the court ought to make him highly in demand.  Also, he and Otto Porter are the two players I most think Dell and Monty would scream like Bieber fans to add to the team due to their motor, high basketball IQ and skills set.  
    As for Trade Down, if we have an issue with getting younger, I don’t know how adding more young pieces helps that.  Unless you can quickly shift those picks out for a veteran piece or two on Draft Night, you’re going to end up with lots of young players who won’t have as high a value as the undrafted picks would have.
    NOTE: and to co-sign what daThRONe said, picks will be available for sale.  If there’s a player we desire, a cash for pick deal seems the easiest and least messy way of adding that player.  Likewise, if we have a deal in the works and need to package picks with it, buy the pick and add it.  But at the very least, the team would have added 1 key piece to its roster.

  3. Caffeinedisaster

    June 13, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Oladipo fills a need in defense on the wing AND can step in to play the 60 games EJ might miss.
    His work ethic is astounding.  If he’s already this great a defender and he’s been working on his offense with that work ethic, the possibilities are endless. 
    Adding more picks may help us pick up some lesser-known guys that might contribute in the ways of a Darius Miller, but you’d be crazy to not take a chance on Oladipo.

  4. Papa Pelican

    June 13, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I like Oladipo but he’ll maybe gone before 6th.Thats why i vote to trade down.I like 3 of the four trade/draft scenarios.I don’t like Hawks trade because thats for a rebuliding team ie 76ers,Suns,Jazz and Bucks.The first three i can dig.
    Pels get 9th &26th picks via T-Wolves i’ve 2 draft scenarios with those picks
    Plan A 9th pick Shabazz (SF) UCLA and 26th Issiah Cannan (PG) Murray St
    Plan B 9th pick Shabazz and 26th Jeff Withey (C) Kansas
    Pels get 12th,29th and 32nd picks via Thunder
    12th Gannis Adetokubo (SF) Greese,29th Jeff Withey and 32nd Erick Green (PG) Va Tech or most likley Nemanja Nedovic (PG) Serbia
    Pels get 14th &21st picks via Jazz
    14th Gannis Adetokubo and 21st Gorqui Dieng (C) Louisville

    • JabberWalker

      June 13, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Papa Pelican This is assuming that both are available.  I agree Oladipo is most likely gone before our pick, but that doesn’t matter, this is assuming both options are available to us at 6.

  5. Houpgarou

    June 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

    If only….
    Obviously in this format u have to vote for dipo, though I think trading down makes so much sense for the pels when / if he’s gone

  6. Houpgarou

    June 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm


    anyone look at the player metrics tool on

  7. BowToTheBill23

    June 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    You don’t trade a dollar for 4 quarters in the NBA. Especially when the player you’d be giving up has a very high floor to begin with. Drafting Oladipo would be a guarantee with a good chance to become something great. Oladipo is guaranteed to be AT LEAST a Serge Ibaka level player that Michael/Ryan were saying we need from this pick/Rivers to contend. Gimme Oladipo

  8. Pelicans3fan3

    June 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Anybody know anything about the foreign player we got rights to in the jarrett jack trade? I know he was a little old, but I was wondering if he might ever come over, or we could use his rights in another trade.

  9. CoReMeGa

    June 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I’m going to compare this draft with the 2006 draft in which 7 of the 14 lottery picks are still playing in the league. Of coarse there are going to be a couple great players in this draft… might be picked 8th, 12th and 30th.. but there will be great players.
    I’m scared of this draft.. and there’s no way that I would want to trade down in this draft and decrease my odds with 2 mediocre picks.
    2006- #12 Hilton Armstrong/ #15 Cedric Simmons.. no thank you!… not saying that’s the exact situation that would play out but it’s a good example

    • CoReMeGa

      June 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      whoooooooa… posted that before I read the article… like I read Reed’s mind!

  10. KingJewelz

    June 13, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Would have picked the trade down BUT I Dont Want To give up RYAN ANDERSON Therefore I chose Oladipo Now If I Can trade down and still keep Davis Anderson rivers then I’m opened if not its ok I’ll just make the pick at 6

  11. HollisBuckeye21

    June 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I have to take Oladipo here. There are some nice trade down options possible but if Oladipo is there at six, I’d be hoping to stay and take him. If he and Burke are gone, and McLemore doesn’t fall then I’d be down for a trade down. However, if any of those three are there, I’d be beyond disappointed with a trade down.
    I also agree that picks later can just be bought with cash. As a long time Hornet/Pelican fan I have watched this team sell picks on multiple occasions. Find a team that is looking to stock up for the biggest free agents (Hello Dallas) and offer them money to get back in the draft. The chance is going to be there. If Dell and Monty like a guy later on, they’re going to have the chance to buy back in and get that guy.

  12. yaboytonez

    June 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I don’t understand a trade down. If the draft is weak. Why trade down for a prospect with an increased risk of not panning out. All of these picks are risky and have differing upside but I feel that the further from the weak top 5 we get the worse we will fair.

  13. dschmid4

    June 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Last round I voted for trading down over Bennett. But here, I think you have to go with Oladipo. I really think he is a high ceiling /high floor player.  However, I really doubt he will be there for us at 6.  He may very well go in the top 3. And failing that, if the mock drafts out there have it right, it is very unlikely he falls past Phoenix.  
    Now, if Phoenix does grab him – after July 14th, a Gordon – Oladipo trade of some sort sounds appealing.

  14. dschmid4

    June 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    One more plus for Oladipo, is the cool name. I can already hear Barkley drawing out his name ala GInobili
    Hola Deeeee PO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. MIKEDJR1018

    June 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I’m just so glad Jake isn’t the GM. We would be in real trouble. Those trades suck!! All of them!!

    • Jake Madison

      June 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      MIKEDJR1018 Ouch! Oladipo is a tough matchup in the tourney.

  16. Pingback: Sixth Pick Tournament Semi-Finals: Victor Oladipo vs. Otto Porter, Jr. (Part I) | New Orleans Pelicans |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.