Trades are already flowing with a day and a half to go before the trade deadline. Tobias Harris was traded to the Detroit Pistons, knocking out one expected trade partner for the New Orleans Pelicans and power forward Ryan Anderson. Courtney Lee was traded to the Charlotte Hornets later in the afternoon as the Miami Heat appear to be cutting salary to get below the luxury tax. Oh boy are the Memphis Grizzlies going to have the most unique collection of talent in a locker room in a long, long time. Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Matt Barnes, Chris Anderson, and P.J. Hairston? The stories that are going to be written will be legendary.
As for the Pelicans, potential landing spots remain for Ryan Anderson. Both the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors are potentially still interested in the Flamethrower. His hometown Sacramento Kings are also a possible destination I have yet to rule out.
Beyond Anderson I am not anticipating the Pelicans make any big moves. Fans have bombarded me with "and we send them Omer Asik" in my mentions on Twitter for days now. It isn't going to happen. Asik is a negative asset (right now) and as the length of his contract diminishes (and the salary cap continues to rise) the possibility of moving Omer without costing the Pelicans significant assets increases. Trading Asik this summer will be far less costly than trying to do it now. Expect the Turkish big man to be on the roster for the remainder of the season.
Onto the power rankings, where the Pelicans languish in irrelevance for another week.
Last Week: 23 - This Week: 21
Eric Gordon could be back in a couple of weeks, but because the Pelicans can never be healthy, Tyreke Evans had season-ending knee surgery on Thursday. The season is pretty much lost, but coach Alvin Gentry can use the last two months to climb out of the bottom five in defensive efficiency and build something for next year. Avoiding a fourth straight bottom-10 finish may be an impossible task.
Last Week: 22 - This Week: 21
Over the past 10 seasons, only three of the 150 players to earn All-NBA honors did so on teams with sub-.400 winning percentages: Kevin Garnett (2007), Kevin Love (2012) and DeMarcus Cousins (2015). Anthony Davis must now follow suit if he wants to avoid falling victim to the "Derrick Rose Rule" and lose $20 million-plus off the five-year, estimated $145 million deal he inked last summer.
Last Week: 22 - This Week: 22
Are they bottoming out? The Pelicans have been wracked with injuries in Alvin Gentry’s first year and remain six and a half games out of last year’s eight seed. It may behoove them to make a couple deals and build through the draft.
Last Week: 23 - This Week: 24
The Pelicans slipped defensively again and are now back down to 27th in the league. They had made strides but are now 24th in defense over the past month again.