Our big board, unlike national boards, is unfriendly to big men. Is that due to the Pelicans specific needs in your opinion or the direction the NBA appears to be headed?
Isaac Constans: I suppose in this draft, I'm the ugly duckling. And that's okay. I had a proportionate (five of 10) share of big men on the big board, because I cling to the dream of the Pelicans finding that ideal post partner for Davis. Omer Asik ain't it, no explanation needed. Ryan Anderson is one hell of a sixth man, but he's about to be one hell of an overpaid sixth man, presumably not by the Pelicans. So why not look at a future five or a fundamentally strong four to bolster the big man picture? Hence, I have Jakob Poetl at fourth, Dragan Bender at third, Henry Ellenson at tenth, and Ivan Rabb at eighth. When you have Davis, focus on the front. The obvious best two players in this draft are both small forwards, but if the Pelicans lack one of those enviable selections in the draft, going big isn't a bad option. The Pelicans aren't exactly seam-splittingly stacked with talent anywhere once a free-for-all free agency ensues.
David Fisher: The highest ranked big men in this draft aren't very good in my opinion. My favorite big man in this class, Domantas Sabonis, is ranked relatively low nationally and is very high on my list of trade back targets. Beyond him I'm just not very impressed with the others. The NBA is making marginal seven footers irrelevant and I can see how Poeltl, Labissiere, and Ellenson flame out.
To me it's like the Rams and Eagles trading up in the NFL draft. Yes, they drafted the highest graded QBs available. But are either of those guys actually good? If they were truly franchise level QBs teams as bad as the Titans and Browns would not entertain trading back. These big men are like those QBs; with the added stress that big men are not nearly as valuable as they were in the NBA. I wouldn't draft the "best big man in the draft" if he still wasn't actually very good.
Quentin Haynes: The Pelicans have Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca and Anthony Davis, so it’s tough to slot them a big man. That said, I think the Pelicans should look for someone to be the perfect frontcourt partner next to Davis. I like Marquese Chriss, but I doubt they take him. The league is moving towards more wings and one big man, but with Davis wanting to play the 4, it’s tough to exactly do that.
Zachary Junda: I feel like it's a combination of both. The game is certainly headed away from guys like Poeltl and the Pelicans are already well served in the "centers who are earthbound" department. The Pelicans have Omer Asik for better or worse. They had Kendrick Perkins. They have Luke Babbitt who can't defend competent wings. New Orleans needs to keep pace with the way the league is shifting and get themselves a wing that can space the floor, shoot from three point range and be a versatile defender.
Oleh Kosel: Another vote for both -- the Pelicans have no minutes to give a new center. Asik is nearly untradeable and Ajinca just bought a house, so neither appears headed out of New Orleans anytime soon. With the need for girth and size decreasing across the NBA and Davis suited to play major minutes at the 5, the Pelicans should almost exclusively be looking at perimeter-abled players. Although Chriss tantalizes my taste buds, I'd prefer the front office concentrate on adding a potential two-way wing who can guard multiple positions and potentially develop into one of the league's better three-point shooters.
Fernando Ritzman: I think the answer is evident in the style of basketball the Pelicans want to play and most of their opponents they face game in, game out. There are far less teams carrying pounding big men on their rosters, so it's not a huge priority anymore.
Owen Sanborn: I believe it has more to do with the way in which basketball is evolving. Speed, quickness, athleticism and shooting prowess have taken over the game and will probably continue to lead the way through the rest of the decade. Ultimately, things will revert back to the middle and big men will assume their reign. Just not yet.