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Monday, November 18, 2019

Details of draft picks Lakers traded to Pelicans revealed

Rob Pelinka

Details of the draft picks the Los Angeles Lakers traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis deal have been revealed, and they are significant.

The Lakers agreed to trade three first-round draft picks to the Pelicans for Davis, not to mention Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. Beyond that, they also agreed to swap picks in one other drafts, meaning the Pelicans essentially control the Lakers’ first-round picks from 2021-2024.

Pelicans get:

– No. 4 pick in 2019
– 2021 first-round pick (top-8 protected). Becomes unprotected 2022 pick if it does not convey in 2021
– right to swap first-round picks in 2023 (so if Lakers have higher pick in draft, Pelicans can swap spots)
– 2024 unprotected first-round pick, with the option to defer unprotected pick to 2025

New Orleans gets the No. 4 overall pick this year. They didn’t want a pick from the Lakers next year because they figure the Lakers will be good as they will have both Davis and LeBron James. In 2021, the pick is top-8 protected, meaning if the Lakers land a pick within the top eight, they get to keep it, but the Pelicans would get the Lakers’ pick in 2022 regardless of where it falls should the pick not convey in 2021.

The real value for New Orleans comes from years 2023-2025. They are guaranteed to have the Lakers’ first-round pick in 2024, regardless of where it falls, but they can defer that pick to 2025. They will also have the option to swap first-round picks with the Lakers in 2023.

What all this means is if the Lakers fall on hard times again after LeBron James’ contract with them ends (potentially 2022), they won’t be able to rebuild through the draft easily because the Pelicans will reap the rewards of them stinking. That’s what happened to the Nets with the ill-fated Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade. Not only did Pierce and Garnett prove to be bad assets, but once they became bad, all their high draft picks were controlled by the Celtics, which made it hard for them to rebuild.

David Griffin knew exactly what he was doing and made sure to load up on draft picks for after James’ contract with the Lakers ran out. Maybe LaVar Ball’s prediction isn’t so silly after all.



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