New Orleans Pelicans: 2017 NBA Draft grades
The New Orleans Pelicans made a little bit of noise in the 2017 NBA Draft. However, there’s still work to be done.
The New Orleans Pelicans made some interesting moves in the 2017 NBA Draft and added a needed piece to the roster. However, it still won’t be enough for them to contend in the West. Entering the night, the Pelicans had two picks in the second round — the 40th and 52nd overall picks.
During the regular season, the Pelicans traded away their first round pick to the Sacramento Kings to acquire big man DeMarcus Cousins. That selection ended up becoming the 10th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, which was used on Gonzaga’s Zach Collins.
After being traded to New Orleans, Cousins averaged 24.4 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per contest in 17 appearances alongside fellow big man Anthony Davis.
A night before the draft on June 21, backup point guard Tim Frazier was shipped off to the Washington Wizards for the 52nd pick. The Pelicans moved Frazier to add another pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Pelicans general manager Dell Demps felt Frazier was a better fit with the Wizards as their style of play had changed a bit after acquiring Boogie.
The Pelicans drafted Frank Jackson at that spot, taking the freshman guard out of Duke University. Although he’s still recovering from foot surgery (stress fracture), Jackson gives New Orleans a competitor who has a lot of scoring potential.
He recently had surgery on his foot, which will sideline him for NBA Summer League. However, he is expected to be ready to go for training camp.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) June 23, 2017
Who is Frank Jackson?
Jackson is a 6’3″ guard with an NBA body at 205 pounds. He averaged 10.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 39.2 percent from three-point land last year.
As the Pelicans look to build around Boogie and AD, the type of players they need is changing as well, which explains moving Tim Frazier to the Wizards.
Jackson gives them an off-the-ball guard option who can also handle the ball if needed. Jackson will join former Duke point guard Quinn Cook as they look to make the 2017-18 roster.
The Pelicans gained a valuable asset in Jackson but it’s unknown whether he can contribute right away, especially with his current injury. Demps believes Jackson can play both the 1 and the 2.
After selecting Jackson, the New Orleans Pelicans traded the 52nd pick away for cash considerations to the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers ended up selecting point guard Edmond Sumner out of Xavier University.
The Pelicans still have some things to work out in free agency, but acquiring a point guard who can play a dual role while shedding one who no longer fit with the team helped start them off in the right direction.