The Pelicans could be looking to draft a pair of former Duke stars.
New Orleans has “had internal talks about moving up to the second pick to take Memphis’ selection and draft RJ Barrett,” according to a report from the New York Post, which cites an unidentified league source. The Pelicans also hold the No. 1 pick and are widely expected to select Barrett’s friend and 2018-19 Blue Devils teammate, Zion Williamson.
Williamson and Barrett led Duke to a 32-6 record and an appearance in the Elite Eight, where they fell to Michigan State. The pair combined to average 45.2 points per game.
Zion as The Rock? RJ as Statham?
— ESPN (@espn) June 15, 2019
“We are just happy for each other,” Williamson said about Barrett in March (via The State). “When one of us gets a fast break, the other is behind them saying show me something. We always boost each other up.
“We like to celebrate for each other, so whenever one of us gets it done, you’ll probably see the other one in the background jumping just as high as him.”
The Pelicans reportedly agreed to one of the biggest trades in NBA history last weekend when they sent star Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 selection in 2019.
They could flip that pick in order to move up for Barrett and they’re also considering moving back, according to a report from ESPN.
Source: The Atlanta Hawks have been aggressive exploring trades packaging the No. 8 and 10 picks to move up in the draft. Their offer to the Knicks for the No. 3 pick was apparently rebuffed. The Pelicans are considering the possibility of trading the No. 4 pick for 8+10.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 18, 2019
New Orleans has been linked to a potential deal for Wizards star Bradley Beal, as well.
New Orleans finished 2018-19 with a 33-49 record and missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.