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NBA Mock Draft: Kings trade Buddy Hield to Pelicans for Eric Bledsoe, swap picks

The Kings save cash and the Pelicans get a shooter to space the floor for Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. See who got picked on day 2 of the Ultimate Mock Draft.

NEW YORK — Day two of the the Locked On NBA Ultimate Mock Draft 2021 had some fireworks. After the first five picks on day one were pretty expected, we had some shakeups on day two, specifically with a big trade between the Kings and the Pelicans. 

Here's how the NBA Ultimate Mock Draft shook out on Day 1 with picks 1-5:

1. Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
2. Jalen Green, Houston Rockets
3. Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Jalen Suggs, Toronto Raptors
5. Jonathan Kuminga, Orlando Magic

Locked On Thunder host Rylan Stiles selected Scottie Barnes out of Florida State with the sixth pick. Locked On Warriors host Wes Goldberg selected Davion Mitchell for Golden State with the seventh pick. Locked On Magic host Philip Rossman-Reich selected Moses Moody for Orlando at pick No. 8.

That set up a trade between the Kings and the Pelicans, the next two picks in the Ultimate Mock Draft. The Kings sent Buddy Hield and the 9th overall pick to New Orleans and the Pelicans sent Eric Bledsoe and the 10th overall pick to Sacramento. 

Ultimate NBA Mock Draft 2021: Episode 1 of the NBA Ultimate Mock Draft with NBA Draft picks 1-5 dropped on Monday. Host David Locke is joined by Locked On NBA Draft hosts Rafael Barlowe & Richard Stayman. Hear analysis from Audacy Sports experts including former NBA GM Ryan McDonough, NBA Champion Brian Scalabrine, former College Head Coach Jimmy Patsos as well as Chad Ford of Chad Ford's NBA Big Board

Listen to the NBA Draft night-style show for free wherever you get your podcasts.

Thoughts on the trade

"The Pelicans, desperate for shooting, just got one of the best shooters in the NBA," Locked On Jazz host and Jazz play-by-play voice David Locke said. "Hield changed his shot profile a great deal this last year, taking many more threes, more off-the-bounce threes and his percentage dipped a little bit, but this is a guy who two years ago was the No. 1 catch and shoot guy in the league."

"Sacramento also does get a benefit too, they get a good defender for a team that was the worst defensive team in the league," Locked On NBA Draft host Richard Stayman said. "They get a defensive upgrade which is always nice."

"For the Kings, why did they need another point guard?" Locked On NBA Draft host Rafael Barlowe said. "You have Fox, you have Haliburton who played well. Of all the positions you decide to add another point guard? For me, that really doesn't make sense."

Pelicans selection at No. 9 

With the 9th pick in the Ultimate Mock Draft, Locked On Pelicans host Jake Madison took Corey Kispert out of Gonzaga. 

Madison said he was looking to select Moses Moody with the 9th pick but had to audible after Orlando selected him at No. 8.

"I went into this mock draft wanting to come out with more shooting to space the court better for both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram," Madison said on the Ultimate Mock Draft show. "While Kispert is older and doesn't have maybe the ridiculous upside you love to see in the top 10, he's the best shooter in the draft and a player that doesn't need to be the main scorer on a team, he doesn't need to be the focal point."

Kings selection at No. 10 and trade justification

"It's a trade that, on the surface, I know some people aren't going to like and a lot aren't going to understand, but I'm telling you it is the right move for the Sacramento Kings," Locked On Kings host Matt George said. "Eric Bledsoe, is he a better player than Buddy Hield? Probably not, although he does some things the Kings need, especially on the defensive end. Really this is about money."

"Bledsoe is owed $4 million less than Buddy Hield next season, which immediately opens up cap space that the Kings could desperately use this offseason," George said. "On top of that, Bledsoe is only owed $3.9 million guaranteed next year, so in the end, this trade will save the Kings over $30 million in cap space by saying bye-bye to Buddy Hield, that bad contract and his inconsistent play."

With the No. 10 overall pick, George said he got the guy he wanted for the Kings at 9 anyway in Michigan's Franz Wagner, a 19-year-old wing. 

"He's a plug and play player, someone who can make an immediate impact for the Kings, which is exactly what I was looking for out of this draft," George said. "He's someone who can play the 3, can play the 4, certainly helps on the defense end, he's a better passer than I think people give him credit for. He can also space the floor. I like his fit with the Sacramento Kings."

On the Ultimate Mock Draft episode two, hear what NBA Draft experts Chad Ford, Ryan McDonough, Jimmy Patsos and more had to say about the trade between Locked On Pelicans and Locked On Kings and their selections.