6th Pick Tournament: Denzel Valentine v Trade for a Vet

Denzel Valentine

by Jake Madison

This matchup isn’t even close. But what the hell, let me persuade you anyway.

Denzel Valentine is one of the more divisive prospects in the NBA draft this year. People either seem to love him or hate him. But what you can’t argue about with him is his production. Over 19 points,  rebounds, 7 assists per game. Sound like the Pelicans could probably use him?

He’s 6’6” with a 6’10” wingspan. More than that, though, is his basketball IQ might be the highest in the draft this year. On this site and the podcast we’ve been screaming all year how that has been lacking for the Pelicans. Now, they have a chance to draft a guy that fills one of their biggest needs. Let’s just get some brains on this team.

His IQ and court vision make him an excellent passer. He’s willing to distribute the ball to cutters and shooters alike. His height lets him see over defenders and make these difficult passes. This, right here, is a guy who isn’t selfish. Something, again, the Pelicans have been lacking at times.

Oh, he can also light it up from deep. Valentine is one of five college players this season who shot over 100 3’s with 45% or better accuracy. Even if he takes time to develop as an overall prospect, Valentine can fill some of the production lost by Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson.

Let him spot up on the court, space the floor for Davis and work off the ball. Or use him as the Pelicans primary ballhandler and mix it up with Jrue Holiday. While he might not fit all teams, Valentine slides perfectly in with the Pelicans.

But let me talk about trading for a vet for a moment.

No. Just no.

You could convince me that it’s the correct move. Get a guy who will help you get back into the playoffs next season. But let me ask you a question.

Do you trust the front office to make the correct move? Let me remind you of Omer Asik.

Get some youth on this team. Some smarts. Some shooting. Valentine has all that. Who knows what vet the Pelicans might bring in, and how much he’ll cost.

Trade for a Vet

by Graham McQueen

“The New Orleans Pelicans have traded the 6th pick in the draft for –” –is not a statement a lot of people want to hear or read come June 23rd. But if you are like me, you feel nothing about that statement until you know who they traded for.

Many are drawn to the allure of having young talent to cheer for. The draft is fun, entertaining, and full of promise. But beyond the attraction of “potential” there is risk, and a wiser man would tell you it is a crapshoot. Just take it from our own Ryan Schwan:

“Historically, the 6th pick in the draft has actually performed worse than any other pick in the top 10. There have been some pretty solid guys taken at six, but there are also very very few in between guys, and half of the players taken have just been bad.”

21% chance for an “A” player, 10% for B, 10% C.

We are talking worse than a 1 in 3 shot at a starter. A Dante Cunningham 3pt attempt at a starter. Oh and a 58% chance he just sucks. There is a better chance to draft a star than trading the pick for one, but is it worth the risk? If the Pels miss on their pick, they’ll have lost the best trade asset they’d likely ever have while Davis is around and lost it for nothing. You think we’ll ever get a higher draft pick than this for the rest of his contract?

You have to entertain other options. Would you trade those (crappy) odds, maybe in a package, for better ones?

10% A, 80% B, 10% C—an almost guaranteed not to suck player?

Jrue Holiday is one of the most liked players by the fan base now. He had a great season, and at 25 years old his future still looks good and intact, 3 years after we traded a 6th pick and a future 1st for him. Trading for a “vet” doesn’t mean trading for a guy who still has a little left in the tank, it just means getting a guy who has been around. Think about it like this:

Lets bring in a professional, not a rookie.


Do the smart thing, do the right thing, and get some guaranteed, good talent in here.


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4 responses to “6th Pick Tournament: Denzel Valentine v Trade for a Vet”

  1. If it has to be Valentine, I trade the pick for a vet. It depends on the vet, but no way I take Valentine at 6. I would take like 13 other players over him. He’s Evan Turner with a jump shot IMO, which isn’t terrible but give me someone else over him. If he played for Saint Joes, he would be Deandre Bembry IMO.

  2. Stop with the 6th pick not being valuable nonsense.  The 6th draft pick is more valuable than all but 5 other draft picks.  It does not matter how successful/unsuccessful the pick has been in the past.  FACT: the 6th pick is better than the 7th pick, but not as good as the 5th.  If the 6th pick yielded 5 HOFers over the last 5 years, no team with picks 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 is calling to trade for the 6th pick straight up. Stop it.

    Now that we’re past that. Denzel Valentine’s ‘per 100’ stats are off the charts.  Tom Izzo chocked up about no longer having the opportunity to coach him.  Said Valentine was the best player he ever coached.  I don’t know as much about basketball as Tom Izzo, so I’m going to ride with Valentine here.

  3. Really really really like trading for a “vet”! IF… We draft Dunn and trade him to the 76ers.
    Dunn + Asik + Tyreke for Covington (super cheap already established 3&D wing) + Saric or Noel
    Philly is going to be almost desperate to make this trade. They will draft Simmons #1 and have 5 starting/prospect front court players. They need guard help!
    I don’t totally want to trade Tyreke but if it gets the job done, do it.
    AD Saric Covington $SG$FA$ Jrue could be a scary unit in time.

  4. Love Valentine… But not @6.
    So if its trade for a Vet..or Pick Valentine @6..
    I’m actually surprised that trading for a vet actually wins this

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