Earlier this morning, Kevin Pelton and Chad Ford took ESPN's lottery mock draft generator for a spin and their results were quite favorable for the New Orleans franchise. Following the Los Angeles Lakers selection of Ben Simmons with the first overall pick, the simulation netted Brandon Ingram next for the Pelicans. Considering the odds of winning the second draft position stand at 7.1% for the 6th worst record (the Pelicans current position in the standings), this would represent a fantastic outcome.
Ingram and Simmons are widely considered to be the two best available choices in the 2016 NBA draft, but the LSU freshman has almost always sat at the top. Recently, though, some outlets like Draft Express have changed their tunes. Despite rostering such a game-changer, LSU had a disappointing finish to their basketball season and many speculate just how much Simmons can improve as a shooter.
On the other hand, Ingram poses no such weaknesses from the perimeter, and hence, Chad Ford believes he is the ideal draft candidate for the Pelicans to add alongside Anthony Davis.
Ingram's ability to handle, shoot and post up makes him an ideal frontcourt partner for Davis. And his 7-foot-3 wingspan and quickness allow him to guard three different positions.
You should read the rest of Ford's analysis behind ESPN's paywall. In addition, take a look at the rest of the draft choices and the accompanying rationale because a common theme should become evident: a premium will be placed on wing players. For instance, Jakob Poetl wasn't even selected among the top-10.
Honestly, none of this comes as a surprise to me or most of the other writers here at The Bird Writes. I can vividly recall us discussing amongst ourselves months ago of the likelihood of such a scenario on Draft Day because most teams around the league do not have enough solid 3-&-D players. Point guards can suddenly be found growing on trees while pairing traditional power forwards and centers has become yesterday's news.
So, Brandon Ingram? Yeah, I like the sound of that.