Post Lottery Mock Draft: New Orleans Pelicans Go International

Published: May 21, 2013

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!


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