The teams also exchanged draft picks, with the Pelicans sending the No. 10 overall to the Grizzlies and receiving the 17th overall as part of the deal. Our Alejandro Avila rounded up the full deal here.
But again, the addition of Valanciunas may not be where the Pelicans decide to stand.
For starters, their interest in Raptors free agent point guard Kyle Lowry “is real,” Clark reported. New Orleans will also have to make decisions on restricted free agents Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, Clark added.
More from New Orleans
- Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin deserves credit for recognizing what didn’t work and changing directions, wrote Scott Kushner of the Advocate, citing the trade with the Grizzlies, as well as the coaching change from Stan Van Gundy to Willie Green.
- As Bobby Marks of ESPN noted, the trade can’t be finalized until free agency begins in early August, because of the salary involved — $14 million for Valanciunas, $17.1 million for Adams and $18.1 million for Bledsoe.
- Along with the No. 17 overall pick, the Pelicans still have four second-rounders: Nos. 35, 43, 51 and 53. None are originally theirs, of course. But that’s generally the way it goes with second-round picks.