Pelicans Beat: 5-on-5 on the NBA Draft

With just six days left to go until the NBA Draft, we discuss what the New Orleans Pelicans might do at number 6 and more.

1. Who are the top six players on the Pelicans’ big board?

Michael McNamara: On their board, not mine? Okay, here we go, in order: Alex Len, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Nerlens Noel, Trey Burke, MCW.

James Grayson: On the Pelicans board they have: Ben McLemore, Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, Trey Burke, Otto Porter, MCW.

Ryan Schwan: Eric Bledsoe, Arron Afflalo, Goran Dragic, Kemba Walker, Omer Asik and Thaddeus Young. Yeah, none of those are rookies – because the Pelicans are going to trade the pick.

Michael Pellissier: Alex Len, Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke

Joe: Gerrity: Alex Len (who I can’t quite make up my mind about), Noel, McLemore, Porter, Burke, MCW.

2. What will have a bigger impact long term for the Pelicans: The 2013 draft or the 2013 FA period?

MM: I have a feeling that Dell really hits a home run, or at least a triple, this summer. Whether it is one big fish or two very good guys who can grow with the team, I am more confident in what Dell can do with all this flexibility in a buyer’s market than I am in this draft class.

JG: 2013 FA period. They said it last off-season that they’re looking to find the “next piece to the puzzle.” In my view it will be a glue-guy. Not someone who sells glue door-to-door, but a player who makes the team gel and does the little things. This is a team in desperate need of some veteran leadership.

RS: The Free Agent period. The big fish will go to other teams. The question is whether Dell Demps can land the efficient small fish in the free agent market, or if he will Dumars the summer and spend money just to spend money. Here’s hoping if the worse happens, he keeps flexibility for cherry-picking trades.

MP: The FA period. Though the draft pick may stick around longer than the free agent or trade target, I believe Dell and Monty Williams want to establish a culture as soon as possible, and a rookie doesn’t do that. I think they’ll bring in a proven player via trade or FA who will help establish a winning mentality. This kind of environment is very important to have when you’re developing young players.

Joe: The Draft. Mainly I just don’t want to jinx Dell’s summer (something the rest of us don’t seem to care about at all!). In all seriousness I think there’s a solid amount of talent in the draft, and if things fall the right way we could be looking at picking up another long term piece of the puzzle. I’m just not sure that there’s anything to be found in free agency this year that will make as big of an impact long term.

3. Who should the Cavs take at number one?

MM: Ben McLemore. Shooting is so valuable in the new NBA and when you have a point guard who can break down defenses like Kyrie, you need to give him a kick out partner. Move Waiters back to the bench or play a three guard lineup – everyone’s doing it!

JG: Nerlens Noel. They don’t really have a dominant shot-blocker inside and if Noel can develop his pick-and-roll game then he and Kyrie can be lethal. Mike, you think the Cavs value shooters? Whatever happened to Danny Green?

RS: Otto Porter. Despite everyone tongue-bathing Kyrie Irving and proclaiming him the next superstar, he was a middling-efficiency scorer on a team that was terrible offensively, so that’s a problem. The team was also abysmal defensively and couldn’t rebound. So what do you do? Take the guy who lays a foundation of filling all the gaps, not just one or two.

MP: Nerlens Noel. The Cavs are atrocious on defense, and Noel is an excellent defensive prospect. He’s raw on offense, but he’s a great athlete who can run the floor with Kyrie and Waiters and you have to honor the lob when he’s involved in pick and rolls.

Joe: Nerlens Noel. Look, I know the Cavs want to get better immediately, but passing on the only player since 1997 to average over 50% from the field (actually 59%), 4 blocks per game, 2 steals per game, and 9 rebounds is just unwise. He’s a well rounded potential franchise player, and I’m not sure that you can pass that up at number one.

4. Which player picked outside the lottery will have the best career?

MM: Tony Snell, Jr. Again, he has the most valuable trait for a perimeter player – he is an excellent shooter. I can see him being a poor man’s Glen Rice, and I would jump all over that outside of the lottery.

JG: Sergey Karasev. I’ve watched this guy play and he’s a lethal shooter. He may not play right away but he can develop in Europe and come over later and be successful.

RS: Can I say Shabazz? Mike Muscala. He was a dominant rebounder who could block shots, draw free throws and stick the mid-range jumper. He could eventually stick as a starter on a team with a strong power forward.

MP: Reggie Bullock. He’s ready to come into the league and space the floor and rebound. Past that, I think he will develop into a plus defender. If you can rebound, defend, and shoot as a wing player, you have a spot in the league, and I think he will wind up being a very good role player.

Joe: Glenn Rice Jr. He’s trying to make history by being the first D-League player ever drafted in the first round, but when it’s all said and done we’ll wonder why it took so long to hear his name called. He can shoot (38% from the NBA three-point line), slash and grab boards. Rice is also coming off a D-League championship series where he was the the best player on the court, averaging 29 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks per game.

5. Which likely lottery pick will be the biggest bust?

MM: Anthony Bennett. The guy can’t make it through 30-40 game seasons against boys; how in the heck is he going to make it through 82 game seasons against men. The last three years for him have ended with fairly significant injuries. It will be the same in the NBA. He will be the next Jonathan Bender – all the potential in the world, but he won’t be able to stay on the court.

JG: Alex Len. He’s going to be injured all the time and if he continues to injure his legs his shot-blocking will be less impactful. I don’t see why people are so enamoured with him because he has decent touch around the basket. Just because he’s seven feet and can hit the occasional hook-shot doesn’t mean he’s a franchise guy.

RS: Steven Adams. Every year someone drafts a big with good measurements and less game than my seven year old between 10 and 14. Every year, that big man is garbage. Adams is the second worst rebounding center prospect in this draft. He’d rank 12th among the power forwards. He can’t catch the ball. His percentage finishing at the rim is weak. he shoots 44% from the free throw line. Give me a break. I don’t care how fast he runs and how high he jumps, he can’t play basketball.

MP: Steven Adams. I hesitate to call any big who can’t rebound a great athlete. He can’t catch the ball and he can’t shoot. He does have defensive potential, but I think he’ll always be a liability on offense, and I don’t think he’ll become an impactful player.

Joe: Ryan and Pellissier are on the money here. If you’re not good (even in college) at the things that are hard to teach (receiving passes, free throw shooting (44%), finishing around the rim), then you’re not going to do very well in the NBA. His decision to go pro isn’t based on whether or not he’s ready, it’s to “help his family”. While that in itself is an admirable decision– putting family before self– it’s not exactly what you want to hear about the guy your team drafts in the lottery.

25 responses to “Pelicans Beat: 5-on-5 on the NBA Draft”

  1. I love the thought of Omer Asik as our starting center and/or Thaddeus Young to play the SF! Ive been high on young for a couple of years now!

  2. Did you all see that WDSU’s Chris Miles ‏@mileswdsu is reporting that Pelicans GM Dell Demps is in WashingtonDC today at a Victor Oladipo workout?

    • Would be something if they’re trading Gordon to the Suns to get the 5th pick to draft Oladipo and draft Burke at 6th.

      • Papa Pelican Papa I’ve been thinking the same thing for some time now, except wishing that is was Len and Burke together.  Then they free up even more cap space and do some real damage in the FA period.  Talk about a serious makeover in record time!

      • The Pels will have to take Dudley contract and maybe Beasley’s contract too

    • shantadiva I’ve listened to the podcast and for the life of me I have no idea why MM and RS are so convinced that Midget Trey Burke is ahead of the 3rd best player in the draft (Oladipo) on Dell’s board.  Makes no sense.

  3. I trade Gordon,Lopez and Miller to the Nuggets for McGee,Chandler and the 267h pick.
    Sign Corey Brewer,Tony Allen and Chase Budigener
    Re sign Aminu,
    Draft Burke & Jeff Withey
    PG Burke-Vasquez-Roberts

  4. I hope the BSS writers here make a case also for noel and mclemore if they are available at the 6th pick…want more information about the two as well

  5. But what does Gerry Vee think?
    And I think you guys are wrong about our Pels not having Oladipo on our board.  In front of the PG’s even.  Oladipo will be picked by us if McLemore, Len, and Porter are off the board.  Bank on it.  Because we’re trading Gordon.

  6. As far as trading the pick, does anyone on here trade it for t- rob, deal the rockets would be falling over themselves to complete?

  7. So if it Len, Porter, Noels, Burke and McLemore are taken 1-5, who do you see the Pelicans taking?

      • 504ever I think fans think way more about how a rookie will effect a player already on the roster than management does. They just want to acquire talent, and if everybody works out, they will find a way to get them all on the court. I just watched San Antonio put 3 guards and Kawhi out there for  40+ minutes per game. If Rivers and MCW both hit their ceiling and Gordon stays, they will all get starters minutes. Can’t worry about that, just gotta get guys you think can play at a high level and then figure it out after that.

      • Except leading up to this draft management has been talking about need being a factor in their selection.

      • 504ever They are talking about need, more in the terms of skill sets than a position. Again, fans are the ones obsessed with positions. Coaches care more about wanting certain skill sets. 
        So, to answer your original question – if they take MCW, I would say we should expect RIvers to work on getting better off the ball.

  8. Really optimistic about the possibility of asik becoming a pel:
    – I believe Houston is strongly in the pole position to sign Dwight Howard , making him expendable due tis salary and redundancy with Dwight
    – we know Monty wants a true 5. Asik is clearly a Monty type of player
    – we have the assets ( Vasquez, Lopez, #6, Gordon) to make it happen however they want it to
    – we have the gm to get it done

    • Houpgarou Only thing I dont like – I am sure Houston would like to trade him to a team out of the division. Trades within the division are pretty rare

  9. 1. McLemore, Len, Porter, Carter-Williams, McCollum, Zeller
    2. 2013 FA Period
    3. Alex Len
    4. Dennis Schroeder
    5. Shabazz Muhammad

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