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Best (and worst) NBA Draft scenarios for the Pelicans

Exploring the best and worst case scenarios for New Orleans on Thursday night

NBA: G League-Ignite at Stockton Kings Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft is tonight (ESPN @ 7:00PM). Some of us will be joining the rest of The Pels 12 at the Mid-City Yacht Club. But first, we got a few of our staff to answer three pressing questions. Worst case and best case scenarios for the New Orleans Pelicans later tonight, as well as making a prediction.

What is worst-case scenario for the Pelicans on draft night?

Kevin Barrios: I am trying to figure out what would actually be the worst version of this terrifying idea that I even hate to put out into the universe — Daniels, Mathurin and Sochan are all off the board or 1 or two of them are available at 8, but the Pelicans decide to do the following instead of drafting at the 8 spot:

Pels trade 8, Jaxson Hayes, Kira Lewis and Garrett Temple to the Houston Rockets for Eric Gordon, 17 and 2 future 2nds. I’m thinking it may be worse if one or two of those three guys are available and they make us see Eric Gordon holding up our jersey again.

Charlie Gonzalez: Worst case scenario here is ALSO a trade back, where David Griffin overestimates last years success of drafting Trey Murphy at 17. The Pelicans got absurdly lucky landing Murphy after moving back 7 spots. My concern is that Griffin feels the need to maximize the value of this pick and try to game the system in his favor once again. A similar deal like that this year would mean going outside the lottery to Charlotte or Atlanta, likely to dump Devonte’ Graham and his contract, and recovering something hopefully helpful but ending up unable to draft one of the best player’s in this class.

David Fisher: The Pelicans trade back but do NOT get off of Devonte’ Graham and then do not draft Jeremy Sochan. Kevin’s scenario is a symptom of a sick, depraved mind and he needs professional help.

What is the best-case scenario for the Pelicans on draft night?

Kevin Barrios: The best case scenario would be the Kings taking Murray and then the Pelicans being able to make a trade with Detroit that looks something like 8, Hayes, Kira and a protected future 1st for 5 where the Pelicans draft Jaden Ivey. Not only is Ivey my favorite (not necessarily who I think is the best, but who is my favorite to watch) player in the draft, but they also get that one pick after Sacramento guarantee that you picked a very good basketball player.

Charlie Gonzalez: Best case scenario to me is a theorized trade back to either Washington or Oklahoma City and coming away with one of Lu Dort or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and drafting Jeremy Sochan, Mark Williams or Jalen Duren.

Personally I really like the three big men as draft targets and believe they could be long term fixtures on this roster. Adding a veteran wing like KCP or Dort in the process would be an immediate boon to this roster, it’s flexibility and versatility. Being able to have a bench quarter of Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy, Larry Nance and whichever wing they trade for provides so many different lineups that Willie Green and staff can play with. Ideally this trade would send out Devonte’ Graham, Jaxson Hayes and Garrett Temple clearing up the roster and allowing for a pick like one of the bigs to take their time in development.

David Fisher: Dyson Daniels is available when the Pelicans are on the clock, and the entire New Orleans front office celebrates as they get their number one guy.

What is your prediction for the Pelicans on draft night?

Kevin Barrios: I believe that Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin will both get drafted ahead of the 8th pick. From what I’m hearing the Pelicans front office is in love with Daniels and Ousmane Dieng. I am not as high on Dieng — though he seems to be a Multiplicity-like replication (the level of degradation is in the eye of the beholder and will likely be revealed in our future) of Dyson Daniels (my top choice at 8).

I think the Pels like Sochan enough that they would risk sliding down two spots to 10 in hopes of grabbing Dieng while also getting off of Graham to get KCP knowing that they would be happy with the consultation prize of Jeremy Sochan (who I actually prefer to Dieng) if Dieng is gone. I wouldn’t be ecstatic with the outcome being Dieng, but getting a solid player to upgrade Graham’s spot in the rotation and having what I consider the Pet Cemetary (sic) rebirth of Daniels as a potential homerun or 6th man for the Shanxi Loongs 3 years from now is something I can stomach. However, I definitely need a solid vet to offset the tartare that is Dieng.

Charlie Gonzalez: I believe the Pelicans are going to try and get as creative as possible to get off of Devonte Graham and bring in future assets…but when the #8 pick comes around my gut says Dyson Daniels will be available and that New Orleans won’t overthink this. There are more variables this year than any other draft in recent memory, everything feels volatile and up in the air. However I think the end result, for New Orleans at least, will be the simplest and we’ll have a great new prospect for this roster in Aussie Dyson Daniels.

David Fisher: Dyson Daniels is there at 8 and he’s a Pelican. We all breathe a sigh of relief.