The 2 pelicans most likely to be traded this season
The New Orleans Pelicans started the season 3-15 after losing another last night on the road to Indiana.
While there are a few reasons to be hopeful (mainly that there are other really bad teams in the Western Conference), the hole just keeps getting bigger for the Pelicans and it may be too deep to come out afterwards. the return of Zion Williamson.
Now is not the time to blow up the roster or anything, as there are signs that things could work out once the squad is full.
Jonas Valanciunas hits all 3 to a record high, Herbert Jones provides the locking perimeter defense the Pelicans will need and role player Devonte ‘Graham looks like a good choice once Zion returns.
But there are a few guys who could be moved before the deadline if things don’t improve.
Pelicans could trade Willie Hernangomez
It’s not exactly a successful stunt, but there would almost certainly be some interest in Hernangomez if the Pelicans made him available in a trade.
They probably wouldn’t get a ton in return, but if they wanted to shake things up, they could probably transfer him to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Josh Jackson or maybe a second-round pick.
Jackson could be worth a flyer as a 3-and-D guy on an expiring deal, and the Pels were able to find some talent in the 2nd round of the final draft, so another pick could be of interest to them as well.
Josh Hart is the Pelicans’ best commercial chip
Josh Hart has the perfect combination of production and salary to move on the trade deadline. Hart has the kind of contract other teams would love to get because only this season is guaranteed with year two only partial and year three a player option.
Hart also produced, hitting 40% of his threes, grabbing rebounds and playing his normal rambling defense.
Hart’s recent rant about “youth” may be a sign that he’s fed up with playing with a rebuild oar, so Hart would not only make the biggest comeback in a trade, but would likely appreciate it if the Pels did. ‘were sending to a competitor.
Could the Pelicans get a first-round pick for Hart? It is possible, but it is more likely that they will have to settle for an untested young player with strengths or a guy who was underperforming but with a high ceiling.
I don’t expect the Pelicans to be big players in the trading market, but they have a few guys they could move for future assets.