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Pelicans decide to defer 1st-round draft pick from Lakers

As the 2024 NBA Draft inches closer, the New Orleans Pelicans have chosen to defer the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick until 2025. This allows the Lakers to keep their 17th overall pick in this year’s draft.

It is the third and final first-round pick that the Pelicans received from LA stemming from the Anthony Davis trade in 2019. New Orleans still holds the option to change course by 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday.


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The Pelicans are likely holding out in hopes of garnering a pick in what’s believed will be a stronger draft class of talent. Meanwhile, it leaves open the opportunity for them to potentially earn a higher first-round selection if the Lakers struggle next season.

Meanwhile, the Lakers keeping their 17th overall pick gives way to more speculation concerning them potentially using that selection on Bronny James, who has elected to stay in this year’s draft. They also possess the 55th overall selection.


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Los Angeles and the Phoenix Suns are the only teams James has chosen to work out with before the draft. Another piece in the puzzle is LeBron James’ pending contract decision. He has until June 29 to decide whether he wants to pick up the final year of his deal with the Lakers.

The growing chatter is that James will stay in Los Angeles on either a two- or three-year deal. There is also reportedly a strong desire from the Lakers to keep him in the mix for the rest of his career.

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