What's expected to be a wild NBA Draft week has officially kicked off with reports of the league's first pre-draft deal this month.
Former Toronto Raptors center and Memphis Grizzlies big Jonas Valanciunas is reportedly heading to New Orleans along with 2021 draft picks No. 17 and 51 in exchange for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, 2021 picks No. 10 and 40, and a protected 2022 first-round pick from the L.A. Lakers, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal clears up about $20 million in cap space for the Pelicans to use to go after Kyle Lowry or retain Lonzo Ball next season.
The Pelicans have recently emerged as a potential destination for the 35-year-old Lowry. It was unclear how New Orleans would be able to lure the longtime Raptors legend but moving Bledsoe and Adams ahead of the draft will give the Pelicans plenty of cap space to go shopping this summer.
With the move, Memphis will move up seven spots in what's considered to be a very deep and talented draft.