Best Options For The New Orleans Pelicans’ No. 4 Pick At The 2019 NBA Draft
Let’s get this one out of the way first: barring any shocking turn of events, the New Orleans Pelicans will select Zion Williamson first overall at the 2019 NBA Draft.
But what about the other top-five pick they have?
Sure, the Pelicans just parted ways with Anthony Davis after trading the big man to the Los Angeles Lakers. But in return, the Pellies got a solid bounty of young players to go with a No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft in Brooklyn.
Presuming that the Pelicans won’t trade that pick, which player will they select on that spot? Nitrogen Sports Blog takes a stab at this topic and lists down three possible options for the New Orleans Pelicans draft pick No. 4 this 2019.
New Orleans Pelicans draft picks 2019 preview featuring the No. 4 spot
Garland is a point guard out of Vanderbilt and was previously seen as the among the best Pelicans draft picks options at No. 4 this 2019. Despite playing five games in the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury, Garland averaged 16.2 points and 2.6 assists through 53.7 percent field goal and 47.8 percent three-point shooting.
College stats don’t always translate in the NBA, but on a team filled with youngsters and with no superstar to act as a leader, Garland will have plenty of time to grow and discover his game in the pros in New Orleans. Garland’s knee injury might be something to evaluate, but he certainly has the potential to be one of the best players coming out of this year’s class.
Garland isn’t going to replace what the Pelicans lost by trading Davis to the Lakers, but he’ll be a nice addition to a team that’s positioned to be a major contender over the next few years. Speaking of Davis, the power forward could not have asked for a better landing spot than Los Angeles.
The Lakers weren’t the only rumored Davis trade destination, but in Tinseltown, he’ll finally be playing in a big market team alongside a proven winner in the form of LeBron James. That tandem is expected to shift the balance of power in the Western Conference, which has been ruled by the Golden State Warriors for quite some time now.
Culver led the Texas Tech Red Raiders to the final of this year’s NCAA Tournament. Although it was a losing effort to the Virginia Cavaliers, the shooting guard certainly impressed. And thanks to his success in leading the Red Raiders deep into the Big Dance, he was able to show off his promise, thus making him an easy selection as among the two of the New Orleans Pelicans’ draft picks in the first round this 2019.
Over 38 games for the Red Raiders last season, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists while also averaging 46.1 percent field goal shooting and 30.4 percent 3-point shooting.
He’s also a solid defender with 1.5 steals per contest in his sophomore season in Lubbock. Sharpening his perimeter shooting will only add to Culver’s rising value.
Hunter is ranked by most mock drafts inside the top seven. The 6’7’’ forward was injured last year and the No. 1 seeded Cavaliers crashed out of the first round. But when Hunter was fit and playing this year, they went on to win the tournament.
This wasn’t a coincidence either as Hunter is clearly a talented youngster. Over 38 games, he averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists through 52 percent field goal and 43.8 percent three-point shooting.
Hunter can do a little bit of everything on the floor, so he should fit right in with the Pelicans. Hunter can knock down jumpers, score off the dribble, and while posting up. He’s also a dependable defender, able to cover multiple positions on that end of the floor.
Hunter could be a very effective 3-and-D wing player for the franchise, especially with his 7’2’’ wingspan.
The 2019 NBA Draft is coming up, and while the New Orleans Pelicans are virtually assured of using their No. 1 overall pick on Duke Blue Devils product Zion Williamson, the No. 4 first-round pick that they also own doesn’t bring much certainty.
That doesn’t mean we can’t speculate though. There’s a good chance that one of the players we listed down in this article will join Zion in New Orleans. In any case, the future is looking bright for the team, depending partly on how the Pelicans’ draft picks in 2019 will turn out.
Expect the Pelicans to generate at least some mild action on the NBA Futures with Williamson coming to town. Want to know more about how to bet on sports? Nitrogen Sports Blog has plenty of articles that cover the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and other major leagues and events.