NBA Draft rumors: Pelicans may be exploring trading down from No. 8

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA Draft rumors have pegged several NBA teams as trying to trade down in the top 10. Now the New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly joining them.

We’ve been hearing NBA Draft rumors for weeks of teams like the Houston Rockets (No. 3), the Sacramento Kings (No. 4) and Portland Trail Blazers (No. 7) reportedly being open to trading back to land either more value or a win-now veteran.

In today’s rumor round-up, Bleacher-Report’s Jake Fischer shared that the New Orleans Pelicans may also be open to trading their pick to move back:

"Teams selecting behind the New Orleans Pelicans have painted them as a trade-down candidate, particularly with OKC at No. 12, if New Orleans officials’ prioritized targets are not still on the board at No. 8. Rivals believe Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin are the Pelicans’ top choices in that slot."

Who do NBA Draft rumors indicate would trade with the New Orleans Pelicans?

Fischer’s report implies that the Thunder might be interested in trading up from No. 12 to No. 8. The Thunder have multiple picks and have already been linked in a number of possible trade scenarios but this one seems a little off. The Thunder would have to be giving up something meaningful to the Pelicans to move up four spots and this scenario relies on the Pelicans’ reported targets not being available.

The thing is, the players linked with the Pelicans — Daniels and Mathurin — also make a lot of sense for the Thunder as a pairing with whoever they take with the No. 2 pick. Assuming Daniels and Mathurin are both off the board in the first seven picks, the Thunder would be paying to guarantee themselves a shot at someone like Shaedon Sharpe, Jeremy Sochan, Jalen Duren, A.J. Griffin or Johnny Davis. There are some fine players in that group but no one such a clear high-upside talent or clean fit with the Thunder that they’d be worth the extra price it would cost to move up.

You never know what the Thunder have up their sleeves or how they see the players in that range but this one seems like a bit of a longshot. If it’s not the Thunder, a team like the Hornets or Spurs could be in play — sending something like No. 15 and P.J. Washington (Hornets) or No. 20 and Zach Collins or Josh Richardson.

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