As soon as they got control of the No. 4 pick from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans have been looking into flipping it.
New Orleans found a taker in the Hawks, who want Virginia forward De'Andre Hunter.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is excellent value for the Pelicans.
I’m not enthused about the No. 4 pick in this draft – especially for New Orleans. My top prospect available, Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, would be somewhat redundant with Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball. Reaching for another position would be even worse.
Instead of facing that dilemma, the Pelicans get a nice set of assets and additional flexibility.
The No. 8 pick could yield a player similar to whomever New Orleans would have taken No. 4. The No. 17 pick could could come just before this draft thins too much. That Cavaliers pick is top-10 protected next year then converts into two second-rounders.
By clearing Solomon Hill‘s burdensome $12,758,781 salary, the Pelicans project to open $29 million in cap space. There are plenty of exciting possibilities for spending that.
New Orleans – which landed the No. 1 pick in the lottery and got a haul for Davis – is having such a good offseason. The future looks bright with Zion Williamson and a restocked cupboard.
The Hawks clearly believe in Hunter. I’m not as high on him, but I like his fit in Atlanta between Trae Young and John Collins. Hunter will complement scoring guard Kevin Huerter as a defensive-minded combo forward. This strikes me as an overpay, but at least the young Hawks should mesh well.
This puts pressure on Cleveland, which picks No. 5. My next two prospects available before a tier drop: Garland and North Carolina point guard Coby White. The Cavs drafted point guard Collin Sexton in last year’s lottery. Will they take another point guard, look to another position or also trade out of their pick?