Pelicans Defer Lakers’ First-Round Pick Until 2025, Give L.A. 2024 First-Rounder

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Pelicans Defer Lakers' First-Round Pick Until 2025, Give L.A. 2024 NBA Draft First-Rounder

The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to defer the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick until 2025, giving the Lakers the 17th overall selection in the 2024 NBA Draft.

New Orleans Pelicans possess the No. 21 pick, Los Angeles Lakers hold 17th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft

The Pelicans have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday to formally inform the NBA of this decision. New Orleans had the option to either use or defer the pick from the Anthony Davis trade in 2019.

This is the final of three first-round picks that the Lakers owe to the Pelicans in the deal. The Lakers traded Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, and three first-round picks (2019, 2022, and 2025) to New Orleans for Davis in 2019.

David Griffin, New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations, informed Lakers VP and general manager Rob Pelinka of his decision on Friday.

According to reports, the Pelicans made the move because the 2024 draft class “isn’t widely considered strong.” The organization felt it was in the team’s best interest to wait until 2025.

The Lakers hold the Nos. 17 and 55 picks in this year’s draft. Los Angeles can trade as many as three first-round picks (2024, 2029, and 2031) during the upcoming draft.

Additionally, New Orleans still holds the No. 21 pick in the 2024 draft.

Lakers could pick Bronny James 17th overall in this year’s draft

In last year’s draft, the Lakers selected guard Jalen Hood-Schifino 17th overall out of Indiana University-Bloomington. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound rookie averaged 1.6 points and 5.2 minutes in 21 games off the bench in the 2023-24 season.

The Lakers could draft Bronny James, the eldest son of LeBron, with the 17th selection this year. In the 2023-24 season, Bronny averaged 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds and made only six starts out of 25 games for USC.

Furthermore, the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft will be held on Wednesday, June 26 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The second round will be held a day later on Thursday, June 27. This is the 78th edition of the NBA draft.

For a third year in a row, the draft will consist of 58 picks instead of the usual 60. Both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns lost a second-round pick for violating the NBA’s tampering rules during free agency.

The No. 1 overall pick will be made by the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta won the first overall selection at the NBA Draft Lottery in May with only a 3% probability.