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2019 NBA Draft Team Preview: New Orleans Pelicans - Picks and Odds

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 14, 2022
6 min read

How to Watch

What: 2019 NBA Draft

Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York

When: Thursday, June 20th at 8:30 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN, Yahoo Sports


The 2019 NBA Draft will occur on Thursday, June 20th at 8:30 PM at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, NY. The broadcast will be available on ESPN and Yahoo Sports.

The 2019 NBA Draft was the first to introduce the new weighted lottery system – where the bottom three ranking teams in the league each had an equal 14% chance to win the number one overall pick.

The bottom three teams – the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers finished within their projected range. But the overall winner of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery was the New Orleans Pelicans.

For more on the NBA Draft, we’ve put together a short 2019 NBA Draft Guide. Check it out to understand how the draft works. 

How Did the New Orleans Pelicans Fare This Season?

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry {All-Time 480-553 | MIA, DET, LAC, PHX, NOP}

Season Record: 33-49, 13th in the West

Starting Five: (G) Jrue Holiday – (G) Elfrid Payton – (F) Kenrich Williams – (F) Julius Randle – (C) Anthony Davis

Potential Losses: (C) Jahlil Okafor (Team Option), (G) Elfrid Payton (Expiry), (F) Julius Randle (Player Option)

Top Performers:

  • (C) Anthony Davis – 25.9 PPG | 12.0 RPG | 2.4 BPG
  • (F) Julius Randle – 21.4 PPG | 8.7 RPG | .524 FG%
  • (G) Jrue Holiday – 21.2 PPG | 7.7 APG | 5.0 RPG

A season that began with much promise devolved quickly into one where the organization is lost for a path. Led by star big man Anthony Davis, the Pelicans were rocked by news of Davis looking to leave the organization.

With up to ten players hitting free agency for the Pelicans, it is likely to see a massive roster overhaul for New Orleans. Holiday is expected to stay as a steadying veteran presence, but the rest seems up in the air.

New Orleans didn’t pull the trigger on an Anthony Davis trade during the season. They look to the offseason in hopes of bagging a more valuable haul for their prized big man. With former Cleveland General Manager David Griffin coming in, expect a number of big moves to form the side in his vision.

Where Will the New Orleans Pelicans Be Picking?



The New Orleans Pelicans own three picks in the 2019 NBA Draft. One in the first round and two in the second-round.

The Pelicans won the ultimate prize by winning the NBA Draft Lottery and acquiring the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Their two second-round picks are 37th and 57th. Second round picks lack contractual commitments and could be used as trade bait or as draft-and-stash options.

What Do the New Orleans Pelicans Need?



Simply put, the New Orleans Pelicans Need a star. With the departure of Anthony Davis looming, the future of the organization will be defined by their first overall pick.

It is no secret that the most coveted prospect in the NBA Draft is Duke Forward Zion Williamson. He seems a lock to go first overall to the Pelicans, but the NBA Draft has shocked many before.

The most significant areas of need for the Pelicans reside at the Small Forward and Point Guard positions. Elfrid Payton is not guaranteed to re-sign, Jrue Holiday needs a backup, and the Pelicans need more production than Darius Miller, Kenrich Williams, and Solomon Hill can provide.

Who Have the New Orleans Pelicans Picked Recently?

2016: G Buddy Hield – Bahamas – Oklahoma



The hot shooting senior out of Oklahoma had a lot of questions surrounding him when the Pelicans picked him in the 2016 NBA Draft. After giving up on him early in his career, he has rewarded his new team the Sacramento Kings with the best season of his career.

2013: Nerlens Noel – USA – Kentucky



Noel was a coveted prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Kentucky big man had plenty of potential but a knee injury kept teams wary. The Pelicans traded him on draft night to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Jrue Holiday. Noel now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

2012: Austin Rivers – USA – Duke

The legacy shooting guard entered the NBA when he was selected by New Orleans tenth overall. While he never stood out with the Pelicans, he has recently bene able to find his role with the Houston Rockets.

New Orleans Pelicans Best Picks

2012:(C) Anthony Davis – USA – Kentucky

  • 6x NBA All-Star (2014-2019)
  • 3x All-NBA First Team (2015, 2017, 2018)
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team (2018)



The first-overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was a home-run for the New Orleans Pelicans. He has not appeared for another team and has defined himself as one of the NBA’s premiere players. Unfortunately for Pelicans fans, the generational talent that is Davis seems on his way out of New Orleans.

2005: Chris Paul – USA – Wake Forest

  • 9x NBA All-Star (2008-2016)
  • 4x All-NBA First Team (2008, 2012-2014)
  • 7x NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009, 2012-2017)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (2006)



One of the NBA’s premier point guards, Paul plied his trade with the Pelicans back when they were known as the Hornets. While never having been able to lead his team to the NBA Finals, Paul has defined himself as one of his generations greatest point guards. He now play for the Houston Rockets.

2003: David West – USA – Xavier

  • 2x NBA Champion (2017, 2018)
  • 2x NBA All-Star (2008, 2009)



David West may not be the most famous name in the NBA, but he was one of the Pelicans’ first All-Stars along with Chris Paul. The bruising big man showed a deft touch from range that was scarcely seen during his time in the NBA. West announced his retirement from the NBA after 15 seasons in August of 2018.

Who are the New Orleans Pelicans Projected to Select?

(F) Zion Williamson – USA – Duke



Williamson is the easiest prediction to make for the Pelicans. He was the nations greatest star in the NCAA last season, led all freshmen in field-goal percentage, and recorded a 20.8 PER. Whether or not Davis stays with the Pelicans beyond this summer, New Orleans seems primed to start anew with an electrifying wing talent.

(G) Ja Morant – USA – Murray State



The top-ranked point guard in the nation, Morant is a crafty playmaker and athletic finisher. He is the only NCAA player to average 20 points and 10 assists in a season since assists were officially recorded in 1983. Should the Pelicans look away from Williams, Morant would pair well with Holiday in the backcourt.

(G-F) RJ Barrett – Canada – Duke



Frontcourt mate to Zion Williamson in college, Canadian prospect RJ Barrett has a thrilling skillset all his own. He broke the Duke freshmen scoring record and at 6’7 operated as the primary playmaker for the Blue Devils. He seems a long-shot for the Pelicans to select, based on their glut of primary ball handlers already – but with a Davis trade looming, Barrett is an excellent prospect if there were even a minor shuffle of their roster.

NBA Draft 2019 First Pick – Odds

If you are in New Jersey you can bet on the 2019 NBA Draft on BetStars NJ. Find the latest odds for the first draft pick below. Good luck!

First Draft Pick Odds Link BetStars NJ
Zion Williamson -20000
RJ Barett +2200
Ja Morant +2200
Jarett Culver  +5000
Rui Hachimura  +6600
DeAndre Hunter +6600
Coby White +10000
Cameron Reddish +10000
Boi Boi +10000
Brandon Clarke +12500

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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Christian Jope

1489 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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