NBA Draft Review

Pelicans GM Dell Demps

June 28, 2013

“Busy” doesn’t begin to describe the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, doesn’t approach the flurry of activity that exponentially intensified an event that generally doesn’t lack for intensity or gurgle with anticipation anyway.

Some draft picks barely had time to field congratulatory hugs, pull on a team cap and hug retiring Commissioner David Stern before learning that the hat he was wearing needed to be swapped for another.

Sporting News writer Sean Deveney called it one of most active first rounds he could recall in his 13 years at SN, a round highlighted by 11 teams combining to make seven trades solely involving draft picks.

Where’d the New Orleans Pelicans slot in the mayhem? Well, the official word is that mum’s the word.

As was the case in the 2010 Draft, when the franchise selected Cole Aldrich with the No. 11 overall pick and began negotiations to trade him and Morris Peterson in exchange for multiple draft picks – which prevented comment on the possible transaction until the trade was completed after a moratorium period – the Pelicans could not comment due to pending trade negotiations.

According to a statement by the club Friday, the Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel with the sixth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and are currently in discussions to trade the rights to that pick, “however we will not be able to consummate any potential trade until after the moratorium period ends July 10. Therefore we will have no comment on this pick until we have finished those trade discussions. We are not at liberty to identify the teams we’re talking to or to reveal any other specifics of potential trades.”

“It’s real uncomfortable for me to be up here right now,” Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps said during his post-draft address to the media Thursday night. “I can’t speak on certain things right now, some things are still in the mix, nothing has been finalized. At the appropriate time I’d love to sit down and talk to you guys, but now is just not that time.”

But that doesn’t mean Pelicans fans should lose the smile, enthusiasm or anticipation that was generated Thursday. The Pelicans are looking to improve their roster before the beginning of next season in a very aggressive manner.

Again, and with emphasis, a moratorium is in observance. The franchise cannot comment on a possible transaction.

But what can be said is that any action taken in the 2013 Draft was the norm, rather than an exception.

Highly regarded point guard Trey Burke was moved from Minnesota to Utah. Dallas acquired point guard Shane Larkin. Guard Archie Goodwin was drafted by Oklahoma City at No. 29, traded to Golden State in exchange for Nate Roberson (No. 26), then forwarded to Phoenix for Nemanja Nedovic (No. 30).

And that wasn’t the half of it.

So the draft, for the most part, will be remembered as much for what was done as it will be for who was drafted. And for Pelicans fans, for what wasn’t said on draft night – but which soon might be.