David Griffin, Trajan Langdon and the New Orleans Pelicans scouting department struck gold in the NBA draft a year ago, hauling in the sharp-shooting Trey Murphy in the first round and steal of the draft Herb Jones in the second.
Can Griff and Company pull off a similar heist again Thursday night?
Time will tell.
What we do know is the Pelicans have the No. 8 pick, a position more likely to produce a role player than a superstar. At least that’s what recent history tells us.
You have to go all the way back to the 1993 draft to find the last time a player selected in the No. 8 spot was named to an NBA All-Star Game. That was Milwaukee Bucks draft pick Vin Baker, who went on to play in four of them.
Baker is one of just eight players over the past 50 years chosen with the eighth overall pick to make an All-Star Game. The other seven were all drafted before any players on the current Pelicans roster were even born (Detlef Schrempf, Tom Chambers, Andrew Toney, Bastrop native Calvin Natt, Jack Sikma, Shreveport native Robert Parish and Campy Russell). No player over the past 50 drafts selected with the No. 8 pick has ever made first-team All-NBA.
Only five players over the last 50 drafts selected in the No. 8 spot have won a ring: Parish, Sikma, Toney, Ron Harper and most recently Channing…