Top New Orleans Pelicans Rumors on the Eve of the Draft

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Published: June 26, 2013
kidd-gilchrist

Less than 36 hours before the draft, and there is a lot of stuff flying around about the NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans, and possible trades that could go down. Let’s stop for a second and take a closer look at each of these things individually:

Pelicans considering trading for Shawn Marion and 13th pick

Analysis: So far two sources have reported that the Pelicans have discussed the parameters of a trade with the Dallas Mavericks that would have us take Marion’s salary off the Mavs books in exchange for the 13th pick. Fletcher Mackel said the target would be Giannis Adetokunbo, while Steve Kyler did not give any indication of who the Pelicans would be interested in.

Personally, I would not be a big fan of this trade. The Pelicans would be essentially forfeiting their cap space for the 13th pick in a weak draft and a stop gap small forward. Yes, we would have that cap space next year, but I don’t think next years FA crop is that strong and we have to start moving forward with a core – not delaying everything to next year, and then the year after that, and the year after that….

Pelicans interested in Chris Copeland

Analysis: If you were to jump on Twitter or message boards, you would think he is already on the team. Calm down. According to a New York reporter, we are interested. According to Copeland’s agent, the Pelicans have interest, but so do others. What do I think of Copeland’s game? Very versatile offensive player that has a long way to go on defense. If Monty can mkae him even an average NBA defender and Dell can get him for 3.5-4 million per year, it will be a very good signing.

Suns Interested in Zeller and MCW

Analysis: McLemore’s poor workout with the Suns seems to have opened the door for some other guys to be picked at #5, right before the Pelicans go on the clock. The Michael Carter-Williams love seems weird, considering the fact that the Suns have Dragic and the fact that they drafted Kendall Marshall last year, but this is a new regime. Their new GM didn’t draft Marshall or give Dragic that contract, so he might see their roster as a blank slate, and if he thinks MCW has star potential, I can easily see him making that pick. Zeller also fits as a high character guy who can get out in transition; two things the Suns covet. If either of these guys go #5, you would have to think either McLemore or Oladipo will be on the board at #6. Maybe both.

Pelicans talked to Cavs about #1 pick

Analysis: I am sure everyone has. That is Dell Demps’s job. You have to call and explore possibilities, then go back to your war room and evaluate all the options. Rumors are that Cleveland wants a lotto pick, a 2014 1st rounder, and a young player. Is anybody in this draft worth all of that? I doubt it. So, don’t expect a trade up to #1 unless the Cavs dramatically lower their asking price.

Bobcats Shopping MKG

Analysis: (SheridanHoops.com is a very questionable source, so take it with a grain of salt. It is only here because I knew that if I left it out, people would bring it up in the comments. So, if it were true…..)

Apparently, the Bobcats think Porter will be there at number 4 and they will take him if he is. It would be hard to play he and MKG together, so they appear to be fielding calls to see what they can get for him. If I am Dell Demps, I offer him Robin Lopez and the 6th pick. The Bobcats could walk out of this draft with Porter, McLemore, and Robin Lopez in that scenario, and the Pelicans can get their small forward of the future and even more cap room.

Orlando Magic working out Cody Zeller again just days before the Draft

Analysis: Chad Ford did say in Tuesday’s mock draft that he is a darkhorse to go number #2. And today comes word that the Bobcats GM loves him at #4. Apparently, Zeller is the hottest guy in this draft right now. Another possibility? What if the Magic are contimplating trading down? They could get Zeller, at let’s say, oh I don’t know, number 6! Maybe the Pelicans take back a bad contract, or how about this one: Supposedly the Clips and Magic are talking a Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler for Aaron Afflalo trade. What if the Pelicans agreed to take Butler’s contract to move up from 6 to 2? Magic get Zeller and Bledsoe while cutting some payroll. Pelicans get a stop gap at SF and, possibly, their top player in this draft.

UPDATE (6/26, 3 PM): Cavaliers Offer Top Overall Pick to Pelicans

Analysis (Mason Ginsberg): According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered the New Orleans Pelicans the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in exchange for the 6th pick in the 2013 Draft, Greivis Vasquez, and the Pelicans’ 2014 first round pick. This is a trade that the Pelicans have to consider if they can add protection  to the 2014 pick. Making this deal while leaving the 2014 pick totally unprotected could be a Kyrie Irving-sized mistake, but if the pick has, say, top-10 protection, it could be a very appealing move if New Orleans has a clear favorite player in this draft.

UPDATE (6/26, 4 pm): Eric Gordon rumored to be on trading block

Analysis (Michael Pellissier): Gordon has been rumored to be on the trade market for a long time now, and this really isn’t a surprise. Of course, the proximity of the rumor to the draft is notable, and it’s also notable that no Pelicans source has come out and denied this rumor. Is he going to be traded on draft night? Maybe, maybe not, but I think Gordon will be traded at some point this season.

UPDATE (6/27, 11:30 AM): Trey Burke “close to a promise from New Orleans”?

Analysis (Mason Ginsberg): According to Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News, “Word has it Burke is close to a promise from New Orleans at the sixth spot.” While using the word “promise” may be a stretch, it would not surprise me one bit if Burke feels extremely confident that he won’t fall past the Pelicans at pick #6.

And finally…

My Own Personal Conspiracy Theory

No links for this own, no sources. But something to me just doesnt add up, and when that happens, an alarm goes off in my mind. A little background first. As you could probably tell by what all the writers think Dell’s Big Board looks like, we got a little intel that he is not in love with Oladipo. Admittedly, the intel could be wrong or Dell might have changed his mind. The next piece of intel suggested to us that Dell would like someone who could create their own offense if we were to draft a perimeter player.

Now I take that information and I look at this draft. There is one guy who does that at an elite level. That same guy also kills it in interviews according to every source and what I have seen with my own eyes in his combine interview and with Grantland. His game is reminiscent of a player Monty said in the past was #2 on our board last year, Damian Lillard. (Can’t find the interview or article right now. If you can, please post) And yet, we didn’t even bring this guy in for a workout?

Does any of this seem fishy to you? Fills a huge need, is the exact kind of player we want in our locker room, and he is perhaps the most NBA ready guy in this draft, so Monty won’t have to rip out any remaining hair he has left to coach him up. He is projected to go in our range, and yet, no interview? Weird.

So what is my conspiracy theory? I believe it is possible that Dell liked him on tape and fell in love with him at the draft combine. He was determined at that point to take him at 6 if Saric didn’t come over and he scheduled guys to do his due diligence. Maybe somebody else would wow him and he would have to reconsider. Also, by not bringing CJ in, teams picking 7,8, or 9 wouldn’t deem the Pelicans a threat and position themselves to trade ahead of us. I mean, Dell said we couldn’t get guys to work out for us because they didn’t think they would be drafted in our range. The higher guys thought they would be gone and the lower ones didnt think they would go as high as #6. But CJ worked out for both Phoenix (#5) and Sacramento (#7). So, clearly he would have worked out for us if we asked. So, the questions is: Why didn’t we?

People will probably claim this is wishful thinking on my part, because I have CJ so high on my board, but it’s just not true. I wasn’t hoping we would take Rivers at ten, and I wasn’t hoping we would trade CP3 to the Clippers, but things just added up that way when I looked at the situation objectively, so I confidently predicted it. The same is happening here.

Again, this is all coming from me. It just doesn’t add up in my mind, and it is hard for me to shake the feeling that the Chessmaster is several moves ahead of us all. I guess we will know in less than 36 hours.

As always, we ask you to chime in. Your thoughts? Your hopes? Your ideas of how tomorrow goes down?

75 comments
CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

My Dream Senario

Gordon for MKG + filler, draft Oladipo, sign and trade Lopez for Pekovic or over pay for him with our new extra cap space. 

Vasquez/ Dipo/ MKG/ AD/ Pek/ RYNO as 6th man... that's a nice squad.. team Defense will be able to mask Vasquez's short commings!

chiefyoungblood
chiefyoungblood

Guess today is the last day, my big board

1) Oladipo 2) Noel 3)McCollum 4) Mclemore 5)  Porter 6) Len 7)Burke 8) Bennett 9) Zeller 10) Adetokumbo 11) Caldwell- Pope 12 )MCW 13) Shabazz 14)Dieng 15) Karasey

SpeedyPelican
SpeedyPelican

Been looking forward to this off season and this draft ever since the last Dallas game. HONESTLY hopeing EG gets traded . and we pick up VO or Ben Mclemore.  Worst comes to worst ill be fine with Burke but if we have the ability to take 1 of the 2 Sg's we better. #INDELLWETRUST

chiefyoungblood
chiefyoungblood

If we ended up drafting McCollum or moving up to get Oladipo , AND some how trade Eric Gordon for any value .  This draft would end up even more fun than last year.   Pelicans on the hypothetical come up .

Pelinets_Fan
Pelinets_Fan

CJ can't be a worse pick than Rivers...man how I wish we could have that back...

lsucpolk
lsucpolk

It's funny that every single mock draft is vasly different, except one thing.  Most of them have us taking Trey Burke, for the sole reason that the Pelicans released a statement saying that we are willing to pick him.  A few questions.  Are the Pelicans that stupid if they indeed really want him?  Being that we put out that statement, and if he actually falls to #6, it means that nobody was clamoring to get him.  If that becomes the case, in reality, how good of a player is he?  If it's smoke and mirrors from the Pelicans, how much work do these so called "experts" from these national outlets actually put in, if they are basing everything merely one public statement?  And how intelligent are they actually, if everything is based on that?  Seemingly most people here are able to see through all of that.  

Anyways, I'd be ok with most of the scenerios listed above, except the one involving Marion.   

HollisBuckeye21
HollisBuckeye21

I was at work this morning thinking it was Thursday and all excited for the draft. Needless to say, at about 10am I realized my fault and had a long work day because of it. Glad to see another article up as we prepare for the draft tomorrow night. 

I know Marion takes a big hit on the cap for this summer, but there are a few players I'd be happy with if they were available, especially Karasev or if someone was falling for some reason. My question is likely one that has been addressed, but taking Marion would put our cap at 11M ish right? Maybe I do not have a proper understanding of our cap situation but would we not be able to still get something good in FA with that?

I know this would knock out someone like Iggy or Pekovic, but I personally would not have expected them in a Pelicans uniform regardless next season (although I'm perfectly fine with being wrong here!) Would we not be able to still sign someone like Buddinger or Brewer on a serviceable contract or am I misunderstanding our situation?

Either way. Beyond excited for tomorrow night!

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

Rich Cho has denied rumors of MKG being shopped.  Also, when you type "Rich Cho" into google, it fills it in with "Rich Chocolate Cake".  Mmmmmmm

RafaBrazil
RafaBrazil

Marion's salary is $9,316,796, while butler's salary is $8,000,000. Is the number 2 pick that valuable that you like the ideia of adding 8M to our payroll on a washed up veteran in Butler and giving our number 6, but doesn't like the ideia of getting an extra pick late in the lottery we could spend on an euro-stash guy and still keep our pick giving nothing in return for 1 M more in a equally wasehd up Marion? To me there isn't a huge drop off in talent from 2 to 6 worth moving up, neither great FAs to target this offseason that justifies it. Marion would be in my opinion just as good as Butler mentoring this team, both are expiring contracts that we could just let expire or ship in the trade deadline, and we would roll into the 13-14 FA with enough money to pry a restricted free agent away from some team that can't pay him due to the new CBA. Just my thoughts...

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

Gordon rumors continue to pour in. My best guess would be same rumor I heard a while ago:


Pierce and Bradley for Gordon

Would try to reroute Pierce to a contender or buy him out for 5 million. Celtics could open up a TPE by dumping KG, then they can do a S&T for Josh Smith. 

A Rondo-EG-Green-Smith core wouldnt be too bad. 

We get Bradley. Say we draft Porter. Then, go into FA with over 20 mil in space with a need for a starting SG and an upgrade at center. Maybe a PG depending on how we feel about giving Austin a shot long term. Bradley would be a great defensive guard off the bench for 25-28 minutes

eMariii123
eMariii123

CJ McCollum has been maybe my favorite options for the Pelicans for the past month. One reason for that however, was because I thought there was no chance McLemore or Oladipo fell to us at #6, but with all the rumors flying around now, it seems very likely that at least one of them is there when we pick. With that being said, I would think hard before taking McCollum when one of those two is still on the board, though it creates the perfect scenario for a trade down. Would Sacramento, Detroit, or Minnesota be willing to trade their pick plus a future 1st rd pick for McLemore/Oladipo? Definitely. Will McCollum still be there at number 7, 8, or 9? Definitely at 7, almost certainly at 8, and probably at 9. 

McCollum is an insanely gifted scorer and shooter who's major knock is that he's not a true point and can't create off the pick n roll. No worries, because he and Gordon would share ballhandling duties, allowing the one playing off-ball to spot up for three or make cuts to the hoop. Just imagine this: Davis sets the pick for Gordon, rolls to the hoop with McCollum, Anderson, and a FA (Webster, Copeland) spotting up from deep. Gordon can either take it to the hoop himself, throw the lob to Davis for the easy dunk, or kick it out to one of three knockdown snipers. That's good basketball. That's winning basketball. 

nolafredo
nolafredo

What's going on with all these 2012 lotto picks getting shopped, traded or benched? Do people have no patience anymore?

I'd trade for MKG now -- but I'd keep that 6th pick. Give Charlotte Lopez and 2015 1st.

lottoni81
lottoni81

1 - Cleveland Cavaliers: ALEX LEN
2 - Orlando Magic: CODY ZELLER
3 - Washington Wizards: ANTHONY BENNETT
4 - Charlotte Bobcats: NERLENS NOEL
5 - Phoenix Suns: BEN MCLEMORE
6 - New Orleans Pelicans: OTTO PORTER JR.
7 - Sacramento Kings: VICTOR OLADIPO
8 - Detroit Pistons: TREY BURKE
9 - Minnesota Timberwolves: KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE
10 - Portland Trail Blazers: STEVEN ADAMS

MountSaintPel
MountSaintPel

Awesome post. I would be ok with any pick except Bennett or Len. How much cap space would Caron Butler take up?

PelicanFever
PelicanFever

I think your conspiracy theory (if it comes true) convinced me that Dell Demps is secretly Gustavo Fring. 

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

Sam Amico tweeting that Gordon could be traded. I would put it in this post, but its Sam Amico, so....

mazonmafia
mazonmafia

@chiefyoungblood Last years draft was fun until we picked my draft nightmare, austin rivers. Actually stopped posting on hornets247 for a while b/c I was so depressed. Lol

Clef504
Clef504

My belief is still in Austin Rivers, one year with a 19 year old and everyone is ready to give up on him. If half the players had his dedication and work ethic, the NBA might be a better league.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@RafaBrazil So, lets say that the two players are a wash - though I think Butler has more value, but lets call them a wash. 

Would I rather have #2 or #6 and #13?

I guess it comes down to who comes off the board in between, but I am assuming Oladipo and Porter will be gone at 6. 

So, would I rather have one of those top guys or lets say Trey Burke and an 18 year old project?

I would take Porter or Oladipo all day without thinking twice. But I see the other side if you really believe in someone at 13 and love Trey Burke. 

My thought is that Dell can always get guys 7-10 on the roster. Smith, Ayon, Belinelli, Green, Roberts - all were got for nothing. So that means getting top guys is a priority. He can get a top guy at #2

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I like Gordon,Lopez and Miller to the Nuggets for McGee,Wilson Chandler and the 27th pick.

CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

@nolafredo I would give up a lot for MKG... he would go #1 in this years draft.. and the chemistry that he already has with AD... BOOM

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

@nolafredo I hear ya!  Why did Sac move Thomas Robinson so soon?  Why is Houston shopping him now? 

MKG getting shopped?  That's just Charlotte management for you.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

2012 draft was weak too so they want to get rid of players they don't want to develop.

mazonmafia
mazonmafia

@lottoni81 Would be on the phone for the #7 or #8 pick as soon as zeller and Bennett were picked.  Coming away with a combo of two of the following would be amazing! oladipo, porter, burke, mclemore, or noel!!!

Gorden for #8 and Travis Outlaw?

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@lottoni81 Wow. Major curveballs there. I honestly dont know what I would do if Oladipo and Porter are both there for us. Head might explode

MountSaintPel
MountSaintPel

@Michael McNamara Right, I hope the team keeps Gordon. It seems like most of the fans only want him gone is because he hurt their feelings. Many say it's because of his injuries but then they want to trade him for Granger. Whatever happens, I just hope they don't trade him for scraps 

Pelinets_Fan
Pelinets_Fan

@Clef504 you could be the hardest working blind referee, still doesn't make you the best referee. Furthermore what evidence do we have that he works harder than anyone on the team other than Eric Gordon? And yes we had one year with a 19 year old who everyone is tough on...why? Because we spent a top 10 1st round draft pick on him! If he couldn't handle it he should have spent another year in college. He needs to go down to D-league and prove himself unless we can find some semi-willing party to unload him to. 

Houpgarou
Houpgarou

Wait, I thought Dell doesn't value dipo, now we're trading down for him? If not him, porter? Like him a lot but the knock is his ceiling. Thought the point of trading down was to get a higher ceiling?

RafaBrazil
RafaBrazil

@Michael McNamara @RafaBrazil I see where you're coming from! I don't really love anybody in this draft, don't really think there will be a difference maker in a few years out of this class, maybe some starters for middle of the pack teams... Agree that Dell can get us these kind of players via other ways, but I think of the 13th pick more as an asset than a contribuitor. What I'm really focusing and maybe didn't make that clear in the previous comment is the next year's FA. I believe it's way better in terms of players we could really get, and having a vet to mentor this bunch of teenagers this year would be much needed. But I understand now your point in the piece!

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@Papa Pelican Problem is that their new GM used to work here and I am sure he is very aware of the headache that is Eric Gordon. Can't see him being interested

504ever
504ever

@Michael McNamara @lottoni81  

Trade with Sacramento to get the #7 pick, too.  They like talented, offense-first malcontents.  So how about Gordon for #7?

ecolli
ecolli

@Michael McNamara @lottoni81 I would get the bobcats on the phone and offer 2014 first and lopez for MKG (not sure they would bite), but I would have to take Oladipo regardless

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Demps is going to take the best offer on the table.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@MountSaintPel @Michael McNamara I think some, emotional fans want him gone because of that. I think the vast majority of fans, however, are rationale and want him gone because he is earning 14 mil per year, and performing like a 5-6 million dollar player. 

Nothing personal, it is just a matter of getting what you pay for. Gordon hasn't given us that. The argument is whether he will in the future. Most say no. Some say yes.

LateNite504FC
LateNite504FC

@Michael McNamara @Houpgarou 

No chance Pels would keep Pierce?   I realize he's not the 22 year old stud most delusional posters want to sign to a 10 year contract that will allow the Pelicans to remain contenders for a decade  (ha, ha) but he's a veteran with the intangibles we need to turn this group of talented but green youngsters into a team that knows how to win.  And he's still better than just about anyone else they might get to play the 3.  I could see him having a mutually satisfactory 1-3 year run as elder statesman on budding contender.

But he is an NBA player, so be probably just wants to go to some super stacked mega-team where he won't have to sweat to much to get another ring...

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Granger and the 16th pick seem to be trade.

Houpgarou
Houpgarou

Unfortunately we have a former employee running sacramento's team now too, the list of suitors is shrinking

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

AP is a good running back just on a crappy franchise.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

You want players that want to play here.Not a player who want out all because it's not Phoenix or Indy.

MountSaintPel
MountSaintPel

@Papa Pelican Ricky Williams? lol, I'm ok with wanting to get rid of a player because he doesn't play or is over payed but who's to say that he doesn't love New Orleans now?

 Will the fans run off every player that comes to the city that doesn't like gumbo?



Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Gordon is the basketball version of Ricky Williams an headcase filled with problems.He don't want to be here so trade him somewhere with the offer.

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