The New Orleans Pelicans hoped to land a pick in the top 4 of the NBA Draft lottery, but settling for the 8th overall pick isn't a bad consolation prize considering it was originally for the Los Angeles Lakers.

New Orleans owned the rights to the Lakers pick as part of the Anthony Davis trade, as long as it landed in the top 10.

The Orlando Magic landed the #1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

The Pelicans front office has a few options with the #8 overall pick.

They can trade it away for a veteran player, trade it for other draft assets, or select a player at 8th overall.

With a young roster in place, and Zion Williamson possibly being offered a max extension this summer, the Pelicans will need productive rotation players on rookie contracts.

Last year, the New Orleans scouting department hit a grad slam.

First round pick Trey Murphy (17th overall), second round pick Herb Jones (35th overall), and undrafted free agent Jose Alvarado all became major rotation players for a Pelicans team that took the Phoenix Suns to 6 games in the 1st round of the NBA playoffs.

Jose Alvarado
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Adding another player on a rookie deal will potentially allow the Pelicans front office to retain their top talent without going over the luxury tax threshold.

As for who the Pelicans should select in the draft? It all depends on who is still available at 8th, but a few pundits have already released mock drafts.

SB Nation has the Pels drafting forward Keegan Murray out of Iowa, though many other mock drafts have him going before that.

New Orleans has options at 8th. The best option is staying there to make the pick.

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