The New Orleans Pelicans are in an interesting situation. They’re in win-now mode, but they’re doing it with a majority cast of young, rising stars. The current state of the team allows them to acquire some high-upside guys to stash on their bench as well as qualified veterans to help them win right away.
That’s why Jaxson Hayes was — and still is — the perfect pick for them.
The Pelicans’ starting center, Derrick Favors, is more than qualified to hold down the fort while Hayes develops in a reserve role.
Hayes still has a lot of work to do in terms of his overall game, but he has incredibly high upside as a defensive-minded big man who can finish lobs on the offensive end of the court.
Original pick: 8