Trade season has arrived and with it NBA twitter is abuzz with various proposals. High on the list? Fixing the New Orleans Pelicans who have been an abject disaster starting the season 6-18. Ryan Anderson is reportedly on the trade block and the Pelicans have already been linked to rumors swirling around Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris.
Key to any approach is the goal. Are the Pelicans trying to salvage this season or atoning for past mistakes to create hope in the future? A quick look at the standings shows New Orleans just 4.5 games back of 8th in the suddenly putrid Western Conference. Trading Anderson for Morris exists in both the present (capitalizing on Anderson's value before he becomes a free agent) and the future (assuming Morris regains his form from 2013-15). It also has real future costs, the three remaining seasons Morris is under contract. Those additional years have a non-zero possibility of turning bad if his performance from 2013-15 was a fluke.
Thankfully, we have tons of trades proposed by non-Pelican fans to discuss. I always worry that any trade I propose is far too beneficial for New Orleans to be realistic. Here are three interesting trades floating around on the internet the past week.
Dinosaur Ball in the Crescent City
NOP gets: Okafor, Canaan PHL gets: Ryan Anderson, Pelicans Top 3-protected 2016 1st round pick. https://t.co/fLcN7wLM7V— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) December 11, 2015
That pick could become Dragan Bender, in which case I would be utterly depressed. Jahlil Okafor makes no sense whatsoever on a team coached by Alvin Gentry. If he pans out though, the Pelicans could roll out a terrifying front court between Anthony Davis and Oakfor that has far more in common with the recent Memphis Grizzlies than the rest of the modern NBA.
Are we sure that space and pace is the key to unlocked AD? This summer I was convinced. Provided evidence of 24 games I have serious doubts.
Expanding on Anderson for Morris
Matt Moore of CBS Sports took the rumors of Anderson and Morris and went hog wild.
Hm. (Yes I know, 35% of you ask "WHY WOULD (X TEAM) DO THAT?!" pic.twitter.com/Dyuaadn57P— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) December 15, 2015
If I'm the Pelicans I cut Phoenix out of this deal entirely. If the Jazz are willing to give up Alec Burks (an incredible finisher at the rim with defensive potential on the wing), Trevor Booker (attitude at power forward), and Trey Burke (almost the first Pelican draft pick) for Anderson and Evans sign me up. Start Holiday and Burks together, bring Booker and Burke off the bench, and roll with it. Even simplify it and remove Burke entirely and I'm still in.
Clearing the books, infecting the locker room
Earlier today for ESPN Insider David Thorpe suggested that Dell Demps give Daryl Morey a call.
I picked Houston to win the West, so obviously I love their roster, but if things don't improve dramatically, I could see Dwight Howard (for Ryan Anderson and Omer Asik?) being the guy they deal. No chance they move Harden, and with the future looking so bright for Clint Capela, it won't mean Houston is quitting on this season. Anderson fits with the Rockets beautifully as a starter. Howard next to Anthony Davis is a nice thought too.
Look, getting Omer Asik off the books is a huge plus. Howard and Davis in the front court could be terrifying. Dwight Howard in the locker room is also potentially horrific. Ultimately the potential flexibility rewarded by such a move (which would have to include another Pelican contract, such as Luke Babbitt) is too enticing for me to ignore. Of course, if New Orleans decided to spend big to re-sign Howard all that flexibility is for not.
Which one do you like? Let's hear it in the comments.