The New Orleans Pelicans have the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA draft and there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding what they’ll do with it.
They can obviously just take the best player available and add another young talent to a team that made the playoffs last season and will get Zion Williamson back.
But there has been speculation that the Pelicans could try to trade the pick, which has only grown after a recent report that the Pels were open to trading for a ‘winning compensation now’.
The Pelicans also have a few contracts they’d like to get off their books, so maybe they can offload them, along with their draft pick for a player who’s willing to help them win now.
It’s easy to make an argument back and forth because adding another top-10 assist keeps a sustainable pool of cheap talent, the flip side being that the Pelicans are set to win. now and already have enough young players playing big roles.
The problem is finding a business partner who has what the New Orleans Pelicans would want/need for the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
New Orleans Pelicans: winning compensation now
The Pelicans had one last season before Zion Williamson’s extension kicked in, and with the uncertainty over his health, it makes sense to go there every year he’s in the league, especially While New Orleans always has CJ McCollum under contract and play well.
But when you start looking around the league, there are limited teams with guys who would both help the Pelicans without destroying their cap sheet, offer them the chance to “win now” and deserve the 8th pick as compensation.
Here’s a look at the two conferences and teams you can almost certainly rule out, some that are far and wide and some that are more likely business partners for the Pelicans.