Pelicans could trade back with Oklahoma City

The New Orleans Pelicans have the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but if there isn’t a player available that they like, there is a possibility for a trade.

The most recent buzz came from Jake Fischer at BleacherReport, who had this to say about the New Orleans Pelicans among myriad other draft trade possibilities:

“Teams selecting behind the New Orleans Pelicans have painted them as a trade-down candidate, particularly with OKC at No. 12, if New Orleans officials’ prioritized targets are not yet on the board at No. 8. Rivals believe Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin are the Pelicans’ top choices in that slot. ”

We’ve talked about some of the possibilities of moving up in the draft, but the Pels could certainly move back if they think they can grab an asset in the form of another pick or a player who could help them win now.

The Thunder seem like a possibility, as they have two picks in the first round and are reportedly trying to use them and future assets to move up to have two selections in the top-10.

The Pelicans would be a possibility with the 8th pick, especially if the Pels don’t see much difference between 8-12 in the 2022 NBA Draft.

But what might a trade look like? There are a couple of possibilities.

New Orleans Pelicans: NBA Draft trades with the OKC Thunder

The Pelicans aren’t likely to want to take on a developmental player or a big contract, so I only see two real possibilities.

The first would involve more draft picks and seems to be the least likely option:

Thunder Get

# 8 pick 2022 NBA Draft

Pelicans Get

# 12 pick 2022 NBA Draft

2023 1st-round pick (top-8 protected)

Grabbing another pick in next year’s draft may not interest the New Orleans Pelicans, but it generally costs at least one future pick to move into the top-10 of the draft.

The Thunder have them to spare, so if there is someone they really want at eight, they might offer up a future pick. The Pels would try to limit or remove protections, hoping OKC is terrible again next season. This would give New Orleans a chance to have a top-10 pick again next year regardless of how good they are.

The next type of trade would involve a player who could help the Pelicans win now:

Thunder Get

# 8 pick 2022 NBA Draft

Pelicans Get

# 12 pick 2022 NBA Draft

Luguentz Dort

In this trade, the Thunder move up four spots by offering up their 12th pick and wing Lu Dort, who has a team option for next season that the Thunder would have to opt into.

He averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 33 percent from 3-point range on over seven attempts per game.

Dort’s final year pays him just $ 1.9 million, so the Pels could get a guy who would be a great bench contributor on both ends on a lowball deal.

Of course, he’s going to get a raise after that, but this season would give the Pelicans a one-year window to try him out, and at the very least they’d get a solid bench contributor who would make them better and more versatile. defensively for the cost of moving back four spots, which may be worth it even if he were to leave.

The Thunder are reportedly shopping Dort ahead of his free agency and he is still just 23-years-old. The Pelicans already have their starting set five, but could use more size and versatility from their bench, which Dort could help provide.

Given his low salary, he wouldn’t stop the Pelicans from making additional moves.

I see either of these trades as a long shot for the Pelicans, but if the guys they like are off the board and OKC really wants to move up, they may be able to strike a deal.

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