For the New Orleans Pelicans, thinking bigger means thinking longer.

Ask folks within the franchise’s orbit about any particular move or any outside possibility, and they’ll tell you the results of the future far outweigh those of the present.

It’s why the Pelicans acquired Lakers’ draft picks stretching out as far as 2025. It’s why they hired an experienced coach like Stan Van Gundy, to coax accountability, so a young roster builds habits capable of maximizing their ultimate potential.

And it’s why Jrue Holiday, the team’s longest tenured player and unquestioned leader, is headed to Milwaukee for a package of three first-round picks, two potential draft swaps, Eric Bledsoe and George Hill.

Because the message is clear.

The ultimate goal lives on a broader timeline.

So, the Pelicans are acting as such. And it thrusts Wednesday’s NBA Draft into a critical data point in the team’s build.