Amid all of the trade speculation, the New Orleans Pelicans have remained intact and won five of their last seven games, making one more run towards the eighth seed in the Western Conference. However, the Pelicans just feel prime for a trade to blow it up and start all over again. At 16-28, the Pelicans would have to go 24-14 to hit 40 wins, the hypothetical win total for the eighth seed. It's going to be tough, but we'll see how it goes.
On the latest Zach Lowe podcast with Brian Windhorst, Lowe suggested a trade for the Pelicans. He suggested that New Orleans and the fleeting Washington Wizards should swap Ryan Anderson for Kris Humphries and Kelly Oubre Jr., citing it gives Washington another good scorer to play alongside John Wall, while New Orleans gets an asset back, a pretty desirable one. It's a rather unique trade as it's probably a light trade for fans who thought the Pelicans can land a larger asset, like a first round pick for Anderson.
Before we get to the true asset of the deal, let's talk about Kris Humphries. Humphries is a pretty solid rotation player and could stick with New Orleans for the next two seasons as a rebounder and overall energy guy. He isn't the greatest defensive player, allowing a defensive field goal percentage of 57.6% and Washington posting a 107.6 defensive rating with him on the floor.
What's more enticing about his game is that he's been tinkering with a three ball, hitting 34.8% from beyond the arc on 66 attempts this season. Humphries has a cap-friendly contract moving forward, too. Humphries would be 31 years old, making just $4.6 million for the 2016-17 season. There are negative here, like the fact he's shooting just 40% from the field and his below-average defense, but as people are getting paid this offseason, I wouldn't hate Hump as a 9th man who might shoot close to average on three point attempts.
The key to this deal for New Orleans is Kelly Oubre. The rookie swingman fell to 15th overall after his freshman season at Kansas. He has everything you want in a developmental wing: six-foot-seven with a seven-foot-two wingspan and he's a monster athlete. He could be exactly what the Pelicans have been missing all these years at the small forward position. Oh, and he's only making $2.0 million heading into next season AND he's a New Orleans native.
So far this season, there have been some positives and negatives with Oubre. Basically, he's having a typical rookie campaign. Oubre is hitting 36.8% of his threes on a low amount of attempts, he's active as a rebounder and he's learning how to be effective without the ball. Via NBA.com's play type stats, Oubre is shooting 70% on 10 cuts this season, but 35.9% of spot-up plays.
Washington's defense is better when he's on the bench, but he's making strides. Oubre is currently allowing 27.8% on isolation plays (18 field goals attempted) and 46% on spot-up shooters, both via NBA.com's play type statistics. Adding a 20-year-old wing with defensive potential would be a good haul for New Orleans. He fits the Anthony Davis window, as he's under contract for another three years before talking extension. As he develops overall, his length and size on the wing, combined with Jrue Holiday would give perimeter players fits.
My opinion on the trade is that it makes sense for both sides. For New Orleans specifically, I think the Pelicans should at least consider it. Humphries gives you a cheap role player, who might be able to play alongside Anthony Davis in the frontcourt for some stretches. If he can hit a decent amount of threes, that's a bonus. Adding Oubre to your wing depth would be big because Oubre and Pondexter would combine for less than $6 million for the 2016-17 season. Before making any move in the draft and free agency, having those two in place would be a great start.
What do you think of a Ryan Anderson for Kris Humphries and Kelly Oubre swap? I'm going to keep my eye on him a bit more now.