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New Orleans Pelicans draft picks, mock draft and ideal scenarios

Vincent Frank

The 2022 New Orleans Pelicans draft includes the No. 8 overall pick stemming from their trade of Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers years back.

Fresh off a surprising playoff appearance, there’s a ton of opportunities for front office head David Griffin and Co. to pursue. They could use that selection to find a proven player next to the core three of Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and C.J. McCollum. They could also simply make a selection.

Before we delve into the Pelicans draft, let’s check in on the picks that they boasts in the annual NBA Draft later this month.

Related: Updated 2022 NBA mock draft

2022 New Orleans Pelicans draft picks

  • 1st round, 8th pick
  • 2nd round, 41st pick
  • 2nd round, 52nd pick

New Orleans Pelicans trade back into the first round

new orleans pelicans draft malaki branham
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Boasting a whole bunch of future first-round picks, the Pelicans can afford to move both of their second rounders and change to trade back into the first round come draft time. It will help Griffin find a happy medium between short-term contention and long-term relevance.

In this scenario, we suggest that New Orleans offers up its two second-round picks and a future second-round selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 30th overall pick.

With said selection, New Orleans opts for a high-upside guard in Malaki Branham from Ohio State. He starred for the Buckeyes as a freshman last season (13.7 PPG, 50% shooting, 42% 3-point). Branham could actually crack the Pelicans’ roster as a rookie given his three-point shooting ability.

Related: Top 50 2022 NBA Draft prospects

New Orleans Pelicans draft includes trade of Jaxson Hayes

NBA: Playoffs-Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Hayes was bandied about as a potential trade option ahead of the February 10 deadline. The Pelicans pushed back against including him in the deal for C.J. McCollum with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Fast forward several months, and it makes sense for the Pelicans to sell high on th 22-year-old big man. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds a season ago. But there’s no real path to the starting lineup with Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas as the bigs in Nola.

If the Pelicans can get a top-20 selection for the still-young Hayes, they will have to think long and hard about it. Perhaps, the Charlotte Hornets (15th overall) come calling. They are in need of more bigs. A deal of this ilk would also include New Orleans adding veteran center Mason Plumlee in a swap of salaries. And with said selection, the Pelicans take a potential point guard of the future in Blake Wesley from Notre Dame.

New Orleans Pelicans trade eighth pick for proven talent

new orleans pelicans draft includes trade for malcolm brogdon
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Alas, New Orleans opts to move off the lottery pick they acquired from Los Angeles for an immediate-impact performer. Point guard remains a major need given Devonte’ Graham’s struggles a season ago.

The Pelicans also have contracts to offer up in order to make a potential blockbuster work. That includes Larry Nance Jr. ($9.6 million), Garrett Temple ($5.1 million) and Graham ($11.5 million).

Going the blockbuster path, we recommend New Orleans entices the Indiana Pacers with the eighth pick and these three contracts for stud point guard Malcolm Brogdon. The team also acquires veteran T.J. McConnell for depth behind Brogdon.

Just how good would a lineup consisting of Brogdon, McCollum, Ingram, Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas be? That has conference title contention written all over it.

Projected New Orleans Pelicans draft picks

  • 1st round, 15th pick: Blake Wesley, guard, Notre Dame
  • 1st round, 30th pick: Malaki Branham, guard, Ohio State

Past 10 New Orleans Pelicans first-round picks

202110thZiaire Williams (traded)ForwardStanford
202013thKira LewisGuardAlabama
20191stZion WilliamsonForwardDuke
20166thBuddy HieldGuardOklahoma
20136thNerlens Noel (traded)CenterKentucky
20121stAnthony DavisForwardKentucky
201210thAustin RiversGuardDuke
201011thCole Aldrich (traded)CenterKansas
200921stDarren CollisonGuardUCLA
200827thDarell Arthur (traded)ForwardKansas

Let us know what you think about our New Orleans Pelicans draft preview in the comments section below.