Pelicans eyeing move up to draft Duke swingman Barrett

R.J. Barrett averaged 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds as a freshman at Duke this past season.

The New Orleans Pelicans have explored the possibility of moving up to the No. 2 pick in the draft to select Duke wing R.J. Barrett, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

The Pelicans currently own the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks. They are expected to take Duke forward Zion Williamson at No. 1 overall. Williamson and Barrett are former teammates and close friends.

The Memphis Grizzlies have the second overall pick and are said to be locked in on Murray State point guard, with Barrett supposedly going third to the Knicks.

But it seems as if Pelicans chief of basketball operations David Griffin would like to shake things up after trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend.

“The Pelicans are still bathing in the glow of fleecing the Lakers out of six young assets — including three first-round picks — in exchange for Davis,” Berman reported.

Berman added that along with trying to move up to No. 2, the Pelicans are also considering moving back from No. 4 for multiple picks. One natural trade partner may be the Atlanta Hawks, who own picks Nos. 8, 10 and 17.

As for the Knicks, Berman reported they are most likely staying at No. 3.

“According to an NBA executive who has spoken to the Knicks, president Steve Mills is locked in at keeping the third pick and delighted to take either Morant or Barrett, the 6-foot-7 Duke lefty swingman,” Berman reported. “While the Knicks were open to moving back after the lottery for a whopping offer, they are now comfortable staying put.”