The better odds (26.1 percent) lie with New Orleans selecting fifth overall, as the team was the fifth worst in the league with a 27-55 record.
There are many areas that need to be addressed in the offseason, and consequently, through the draft.
Barring any trades, the Pelicans will only have one pick in the 2013 draft. The rights to their second-round pick belong to the Philadelphia 76ers after the three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012 that brought Xavier Henry to New Orleans and sent Marreese Speights to Memphis.
The clear need for this team is a small forward that can score the ball.
There are a variety of free agents and players on the trading block that could find their way to New Orleans, but if the pick is right, there are quite a few small forwards that will be available early in the draft.
Additionally, they need a perimeter defender; someone capable of locking down the opposition. Indiana’s Victor Oladipo would be the perfect fit for Monty Williams’ defensive-minded system.
Even so, with the one pick, Pelicans management may decide to simply select the best available, a player who can be developed with the young talent already on the roster.
Here is a list of five players the Pelicans should target, why they will solve the current problems at their respective positions and how they will make the Pelicans a more competitive team going forward.