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New Orleans Pelicans 2013 NBA Draft Possibilities

March 10, 2013

Who should the Pelicans draft?

The 2013 NBA Draft is an interesting spot for the Pelicans no matter where they are picking in the lottery.  Let’s evaluate each player and analyze the probability from a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest.

Nerlens Noel

Probability score: 4

They could form the modern day twin towers but probably won’t for a few reasons.

First, Noel’s game is pretty similar to Anthony Davis. Second, he will be coming of ACL surgery.  On the flip side, they could conceivably draft Noel and leverage him later as a trade chip for a star.  This might be a little difficult to do since the salaries probably won’t work out.

Anthony Bennett (scouting report)

Probability Score: 8

This would mean that Anthony Davis moves to play center.  This could happen as he continues to fill out his body.  They have different games and could complement each other. If you are the Pelicans, do you draft Bennett ahead of McLemore, Smart or Muhammad? I think they could draft Bennett ahead of Muhammad or Smart.  I don’t think they pass up on McLemore.

Marcus Smart (scouting report)

Probability Score: 6

This is interesting.  Greivis Vasquez is having a career year and is likely to continue playing well.  He is one of the NBA’s best bargains.  On the other hand, as good as Vasquez numbers are, he is not an elite point guard. If he was, they wouldn’t be this bad.  Marcus Smart looks like a star.  Would the Hornets put a damper on a great find? My guess is that they won’t as they have other areas of concern.

Ben McLemore or Shabazz Muhammad (scouting report)

Probability score: 9

This is also interesting.  The Pelicans best player is currently Eric Gordon.  However, things aren’t going so well and it’s not all Gordon’s fault.  When he first arrived, he wanted to be in New Orleans.  However, management decided to give him a lowball contract extension offer and irritate him.  When Gordon hit restricted free agency and signed with the Phoenix Suns, he blasted New Orleans management.  Yet, the Pelicans matched the offer anyway.  Now, Gordon has been injury prone and his desire to play has been questioned by the fans. The Hornets should probably trade him but his trade value has taken a hit with all the injuries.

Do you draft shooting guards Shabazz or McLemore when given a chance? They probably will but this isn’t exactly the best situation for the incoming rookie or New Orleans management.  Do you risk further damaging the relationship with Eric Gordon even more and completely ruin his trade value? Do you risk putting the rookie in an awkward situation playing behind an unhappy veteran? This doesn’t not even completely consider that the Pelicans drafted combo guard Austin Rivers.

My guess is given the chance to select either McLemore or Muhammad, they probably will.  It’s hard to pass up on talent. They’re also really bad when Gordon does not play.  They need a scoring shooting guard and when given the opportunity to do so, they shouldn’t pass.

Otto Porter Jr.

Probability Score: 8

This is the player I like for the Pelicans.  I don’t know if this will happen since scouting projections have Marcus Smart and Ben McLemore ahead of Porter.  From a fit standpoint, I think this makes a lot of sense.  By drafting Porter, the Pelicans get a starting small forward and finally say goodbye to Aminu.  You leave the solid playing Vasquez valuable.  You give the Eric Gordon situation one more year to try and save.  You also give Austin Rivers more time to develop.

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