76ers buy No. 53 pick from Pelicans, reportedly for $2M

Philadelphia 76ers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
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The Pelicans – in the midst of trying to prove their worthiness to Zion Williamson – sold a second-round pick to the 76ers.

76ers release:

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired the No. 53 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft from New Orleans in exchange for cash consideration.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

A second-round pick signed to a minimum salary projects to count $743,922 less toward the luxury tax than an undrafted rookie signed to minimum salary next season. The luxury-tax rate escalates as payroll increases, too.

So, at least some of this transaction could pay for itself for the expensive 76ers – though it’s unclear where their team salary will actually land by the time the tax is assessed next year.

Even if costly, the extra asset can only help.

The Pelicans still have four picks in tonight’s draft: Nos. 17,* 35, 40 and 43. New Orleans probably won’t have room for so many rookies, both by roster spots and development opportunities.

Collecting $2 million for such a low pick is a nice return – though it’s worth acknowledging that money helps Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, not the team win on the court.

*The Grizzlies technically hold this selection, but they will pick for the Pelicans then complete the trade after the league year turns over.