The Pelicans missed out on the playoffs for the third straight season, finishing 11th in the Western Conference with a record of 31-41. It was an improvement on the previous two seasons where they finished in 13th place, with their winning percentage the highest it’s been in three years with .431 overall.
While Stan Van Gundy’s coaching tenure was short-lived only being in charge one season, the hiring of Willie Green at the helm should help bridge the gap with some of the younger players and make some tough decisions. Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart are both restricted free agents and due for pay increases, which could eat up the majority of the Pels’ salary cap this offseason as well. With a handful of picks in this year’s draft, they’ll surely add some solid young talent to the squad as they look to improve in the standings next year.
New Orleans Pelicans 2021 NBA Draft picks
No. 17, first round (via MEM): Trey Murphy, G/F, Virginia
No. 35, second round: Herb Jones, F, Alabama
No. 43, second round:
No. 51, second round (via MEM):
Fantasy basketball outlook
Trey Murphy — The Pels are bringing in a strong shooter with Trey Murphy, who shot 50.3% from the floor last season at Virginia while going 43.3% from three-point land. A guy like Murphy is much needed for New Orleans as they’re lacking in wing production. Murphy, being one of the top shooters out of all the draft prospects, will certainly help fill that hole as Brandon Ingram is more of a mid-range shooter, and Lonzo Ball has been known to be somewhat inconsistent. Murphy will help bridge that gap and add some depth on the outside for the Pelicans next year.