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NBA Draft: New Orleans Pelicans trade Tim Frazier to Washington Wizards for 52nd pick

Are the Pelicans that confident in re-signing Jrue Holiday? Or in Quinn Cook?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to trade Tim Frazier to the Washington Wizards for the 52nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Frazier averaged 7.1 points, 5.2 assists, and 2.7 rebounds for New Orleans last season in 65 games including 35 starts. Originally acquired out of the D-League, the Penn State product re-signed with the Pelicans last summer for two years and was owed $2 million in the 2017-18 season.

This move is puzzling. Trading away Frazier does not create cap space unless Jrue Holiday leaves in free agency. The 52nd pick in the draft is unlikely to be a day one contributor (or, historically, an NBA player whatsoever) and will not be significantly less expensive than Frazier with the substantial increase in minimum contracts thanks to the new CBA taking effect on July 1st.

It could be part of another move, although Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate says this is a stand alone transaction. New Orleans may be providing Quinn Cook a significant vote of confidence as the team’s de facto second string point guard, although he is much less proven than Frazier at the moment.

If Holiday re-signs with New Orleans, they will have an open roster spot and a $2 million trade exception to work with in July and beyond. If, however, Holiday leaves, the Pelicans will be faced with a massive hole at point guard with no proven commodities to fill it and a limited amount of cap room unless additional sacrifices are made. Those sacrifices include rescinding Dante Cunningham’s bird rights, trading away additional players (Alexis Ajinca is at the top of that list), or even waiving and stretching Omer Asik.

New Orleans will now have the 40th and 52nd selections in the 2017 NBA Draft. Time to dive even deeper on Draft Express!