NOTE: This is a series of articles written by individual authors, both in and out of The Draft Class. These are all part of The Draft Class’ NBA Re-Draft, in which all of the current 30 NBA teams are represented and will undergo a simulation through NBA 2K20, with the goal to build the best team over the next five years. All teams have already been formed through the snake draft. These pieces will break down why each team’s representative drafted the way they did, as well as the approach the representative had heading into the draft.
GM: Joe Tevelowitz (@TheJoePost)
Starting with the top overall pick comes with the luxury of selecting the most dominant player in the league. I was happy to do that with Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, the top pick also means waiting 59 selections for the first chance to pair Giannis with another star. With the best prospects both young and old off the board, my second pick came down to either a sharpshooter like Buddy Hield, young developing wing like Kelly Oubre Jr. or older, or a still-on-the-right-side-of-30-center in Nikola Vucevic, who I eventually selected.
Adding Dejounte Murray with my third pick as the defensive point guard with playmaking and shot-making skills felt like a perfect fit next to Giannis and helped shape the rest of my team. When time came for my fourth and fifth picks, I was looking at young swingmen who could play perimeter defense, hit the three and had some potential. This led to Troy Brown Jr. and Mikal Bridges, with Norman Powell and P.J. Washington also garnering consideration.
Now set at the starting lineup, it was time to build a young bench that could not only compete alongside Giannis and crew now, but also had the potential to develop and make the New Orleans Pelicans a legit dynasty. Jalen Brunson and Lonnie Walker IV were my youthful picks for the back-up backcourt, with the only other consideration being given to young frontcourt players like Larry Nance Jr., Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner and Harry Giles III. Wagner sat until the next time, where I was happy to pair him with a personal favorite in Denzel Valentine.
I thought of going with another young big man with my final pick, but instead added some much-needed veteran presence and switching ability with Thaddeus Young, who was surprisingly still available with the final pick in the draft. With a focus on defense and long distance shooting, the Pelicans have the versatility to compete against any team and the youth to grow, while still forming a competitive squad for the reigning MVP to romp with.