Update on the picks the Lakers are sending to Pelicans in Anthony Davis trade
Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times shed some light on the protections and complications regarding the traded picks.
A clarification on the haul of draft picks heading the Pelicans' way. The 2021 pick goes to New Orleans if it's in the top eight, if not they'll get an unprotected first in 2022. Swap in 2023. Unprotected first in 2024, with a right to defer to 2025.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) June 16, 2019
Initial reports said that the Pelicans are getting the rights to swap picks with the Lakers in 2023 and 2025. However, as clarified above, the Pelicans can only outright choose to swap with the Lakers in 2023. The Pelicans have the option to get the last unprotected first round pick in 2025, should they opt not to take it in 2024.
In addition to those picks, the Pelicans also received this year’s no. 4 overall pick and a 2021 top-8 protected pick, which will become unprotected in 2022 should the pick fall out of the top eight. And lest we forget, they also have the right to select first on Thursday’s 2019 NBA Draft.
The Pelicans received a major haul for their formerly disgruntled All-NBA forward. In addition to the picks, they also received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Their future is now set with them and projected top pick Zion Williamson.
The three picks, at least, gives the Pelicans of flexibility in the future. Should the core of Zion, Lonzo, and Ingram make an immediate impact in the near future, they can flip those future assets to acquire veterans, better role players, or even a star to add to their young core.
Of course, the values of the picks hinges on how the Lakers will perform in the coming seasons. One thing is for sure, they are in win-now mode. With LeBron on the tail end of his career, perhaps those later picks could be the juicier ones.