Well, that was interesting. It appears we are finally getting a handle on what went down as it pertains directly to the Pelicans. Norris Cole, Shawne Williams, LSU product Justin Hamilton, and Ish Smith have all been linked to the Pelicans in a variety of stories in the past few hours.
The trade is John Salmons to Phoenix (where he will be bought out) for Cole, Williams, and Hamilton. Already there are reports surfacing that both Williams and Hamilton could be bought out in the coming days. All the details can be found in our original post on the trade. Oleh will also have more analysis on just what Cole brings to the Pelicans, which you can find here. Smith, another point guard, is also on his way to New Orleans.
Where the Pelicans were weakest, point guard, they now have multiple options in Tyreke Evans, Norris Cole, Jimmer Fredette, and Ish Smith. What does all this mean for the future?
Do No Harm - Mission Accomplished
I had one objective for Dell Demps and the New Orleans Pelicans at the trade deadline. Do no harm. John Salmons outgoing for Cole is clearly that kind of move. I would have preferred something a little bolder, like the Moe Harkless trade I floated on Tuesday. However, this team actually finds itself with a solid if unspectacular wing rotation with Evans, Eric Gordon, and Quincy Pondexter.
Cole is not owed any additional money beyond this season. If New Orleans would like to retain his restricted free agent rights the qualifying offer this summer is just over $3 Million. By jettisoning Salmons the oldest player on the roster is Omer Asik, who is just 28 years old. After Dante Cunningham, 27, everyone is 26 or younger. Nothing that occurred today had much effect on future flexibility.
Here is a look at the salary situation on July 1st. Each player's age is for the 2015-16 season.
I would be surprised if the team re-signed Norris Cole and used both the full Mid Level Exception and the entire Bi-Annual Exception. One of Alexis Ajinca or Jeff Withey is likely to sign elsewhere. This is just a look at the Pelicans salary cap on July 1st if no other moves are made.
Do no harm accomplished and Demps did it while providing additional options at reserve point guard. Well done.