Sixers, Pelicans Make Trade on Day of 2021 NBA Draft: Report

Pelicans-President

Getty New Orleans Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha in 2013.

The Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans have made a trade.

No, it doesn’t involve Ben Simmons, but Sixers fans have got to feel good about the active and early start to NBA draft day from team president Daryl Morey. After further details were soon revealed by Charania, it seems like an even better move for the organization, given what kind of draft night flexibility it will now give them with an additional pick.

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We’ll see what else the afternoon and evening has in store for Philly nation, as they now hold the 28th, 50th, and 53rd selections.


The Pelicans Have Had a Very Busy Week

Adams-Morant-Bledsoe

GettyNew Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams sets a pick on Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant for teammate Eric Bledsoe.

Leading into the draft, the Pelicans are certainly appearing to be the most busy team on the trade front.

It was reported on Monday that the club had agreed to a blockbuster deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. In the trade, New Orleans will be acquiring center Jonas Valanciunas, as well as the No. 17 and No. 51 picks in Thursday’s draft, in exchange for Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe, the No. 10 and No. 40 picks in this year’s draft, and a 2022 top-10 protected pick.

“The deal clears the way for young Pelicans guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis Jr. – both first-round draft choices in the past two years – to see more playing time,” NBA.com’s Monday night story read. “The move also gives New Orleans more than $20 million in additional space under the salary cap heading into free agency. Valanciunas is due $14 million this season, while Bledsoe is set to earn $18 million and Adams $17 million.”

Coincidentally, Thursday’s deal between the Sixers and Pelicans also comes on the heels of Willie Green – a Philadelphia guard from 2003 through 2010 – being introduced as New Orleans’ new head coach.


What Are the Sixers Options With Their 3 Draft Picks?

Elton-Brand

GettyPhiladelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand in September 2019.

Though the Sixers could certainly elect to bulk up on talent from the draft and expand the youth movement, many have speculated that now with a trio of selections at their disposal, the likelihood that Simmons is traded on Thursday is stronger. KRON4 News Sports Director Jason Dumas is convinced of it.

The clock is ticking. The 2021 NBA draft is slated to begin at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.

READ NEXT: Sixers Offered Spurs Ben Simmons for ‘Outrageous’ Trade Package: Report


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