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SB Nation Mock Draft: Pelicans fail to make waves

We tried, but ultimately consummating a deal was not in the cards.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

If you did not follow along, the editors and site managers of SB Nation ran a comprehensive mock draft which published in the last two days. You can find full results here with their story stream of every selection. This took place before Kristaps Porzingis shot up the draft boards and prior to the Detroit Pistons trade for Ersan Ilyasova, so a couple moves might not make complete sense. The good folks over at Sonics Rising (yes, despite not having a team they maintain an excellent Seattle-centric blog, Seattle fans are some of the best) did their own analysis of the entire draft, which can be found here.

Not found throughout that, however, is a selection by the New Orleans Pelicans. Of course the Pelicans own selection, the 18th pick, was traded to the Houston Rockets last summer for Omer Asik. Despite not owning a pick in the draft as the blogger GM of the Pelicans I made every effort to trade into the draft. Early on in the proceedings I placed Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson, and the 2016 first round pick on the block as available.

I had two primary goals with this trade package outgoing. First, I wanted a pick roughly in the 15-25 range to hopefully select a player who long term I project as a starter in the NBA. Second, I wanted to shave a bit of salary (or receive an appropriate trade chip like Brendan Haywood's contract) to reasonably make serious waves in free agency. Accomplishing both of these objectives was quite difficult.

Feedback on Tyreke Evans was unanimously negative. No one wanted Evans, period. Ryan Anderson was a different story and there were discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, and advanced discussions with the Washington Wizards on a variety of trade packages. My targeted player was Justin Anderson, who went to the Detroit Pistons with the 16th pick.

The Wizards ultimately received a better package than what I was offering for the 19th pick. Of course after the draft was completed Ersan Ilyasova was traded to the Pistons and my calls for a re-draft (and therefore a ton of new writing and analysis to be done, which is a crap ton of work) went unheeded.

I learned a lot about what other really smart basketball people think of the Pelicans. I also got just the tiniest glimpse into what Dell Demps must be dealing with on an hourly basis. I, along with a number of other "GMs", bounced ideas off a number of other "GMs". Oftentimes similar outgoing packages were being discussed simultaneously as I tried to receive the greatest value possible. Ultimately none of the offers I received were very exciting.

In the next 48 hours Dell Demps might not make a trade. Do not assume that has anything to do with a lack of effort in doing so.