The New Orleans Pelicans, run by general manager David Fisher, select Taurean Prince with the 18th pick in the SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft. New Orleans receives the 18th pick in a three team trade with the Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons. Utah will receive Tyreke Evans from New Orleans while Detroit receives the 39th pick from the Pelicans while also receiving the 23rd pick (previously acquired by Utah in the draft) and Trey Burke from the Jazz. A full explanation of the draft process will be posted in the coming hours.
The entire draft can be found on Ridiculous Upside.
Taurean Prince is an actual small forward. Finally.
Trading away Tyreke Evans was high on our list of priorities this off-season. (It is also high on the Pelicans actual list of priorities this summer.) While a great individual talent his skill set does not fit the direction the Pelicans are headed. With the arrival of Kris Dunn and the expected return of restricted free agent Tim Frazier moving Evans for talent on the wing became even easier.
Turning Evans and a second round pick for one of the best 3&D prospects in this draft was not a difficult decision. The Pelicans have found themselves lacking on the wing for years and Taurean Prince has both the physical tools (6'7.75" tall with a 6'11.5" wingspan) and skill set (37.8% behind the arc in his last two seasons at Baylor) this franchise desperately needs. Eventually Prince could play small forward and log minutes as a small ball power forward beside Anthony Davis.
Moving Tyreke Evans for Taurean Prince also creates an additional $8.8 million in cap space this summer. New Orleans now has nearly $29 million in cap space and a solid amount of youth to build around Anthony Davis.