The New Orleans Pelicans did much of nothing at the trade deadline. Ryan Anderson, thoroughly connected to nearly any team who might need a stretch-four, was not moved. Lack of movement toward the future earned Dell Demps and his front office the title of loser at the deadline from many reporters. The one move made, trading for Jarnell Stokes, ended up being the shameless cash grab many suspected originally.
Demps has made three trades since the last trade deadline. Draft rights to Brandon Dawson for about $630k, Ish Smith for two second round picks, and an open roster spot for about $720k. At least Tom Benson will be able to afford to keep the lights on.
Side note: Other teams are waiving players to add immediate contributors or flexibility to add youth. Demps has to make moves to balance the books. There comes a point when running a professional sports organization on the cheap becomes a competitive disadvantage. It's not George Shinn bad, but we shouldn't celebrate waiving a 22 year old on a team friendly contract to save a million dollar organization a mere pittance.
Three different options to create a roster spot for BDJ.— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) February 19, 2016
Babbitt: ~$555k ($200k guarantee next season)
Zach Lowe and Marc Stein sat down on The Lowe Post (this is by far the best podcast name in the league) to talk trade deadline on Friday. No surprise, the New Orleans Pelicans efforts to trade Ryan Anderson came up 32:30 into the discussion right after they talked about the Toronto Raptors. I highly (so very highly) recommend listening to the entire thing. Here is what they said in regards to the Pelicans on trade deadline day.
Zach Lowe: I had heard they (Pelicans) wanted not just a pick, but they wanted, because they're determined to stay afloat, that they wanted at least another good present day rotation player.
Marc Stein: Yeah, I think they took their cues from teams like the Suns who were saying, 'Markieff Morris, uncertain future, cause nothing but trouble since July, yeah well we want a first and a good young guy for him.' So I think they (Pelicans) said, 'well that's the asking price for Markieff Morris let's ask for for the same.' But yeah, I'm totally with you. If Toronto had really put that on the table Ryan Anderson would be having a press conference in Toronto today. There's no way that offer was available to the Pelicans or they would have snatched it.
Because Ryan Anderson is going to get crazy money this offseason. He is going to 4/$80M for Ryan Anderson is not out of the realm of possibility. Maybe it's 4/$75M, but it's gonna be in that ballpark. It is. Has he lost a suitor in Detroit that we all thought was going to go after him after they got Tobias Harris and Motiejunas? I would assume that takes the Pistons out of the Ryan Anderson sweepstakes but there will be plenty of teams after him. He's gonna get a ton of money.
Lowe: The difference between Ryan Anderson and Markieff Morris is obviously that Markieff Morris has three years left on his contract and Ryan Anderson has zero. And we've arrived at this point in the NBA where years are good. Years used to be horrible, now years are good. That's why, you know look, we had three expiring contracts get you real stuff yesterday. Jeff Green got you a first. Courtney Lee got you two seconds and they (Memphis) got two other seconds for taking on Miami's bad money. And Foye kind of got you two seconds but they (Denver) also had to take on Novak to help the Thunder's tax situation.
The Pelicans could have gotten stuff. I don't know what they could have gotten, maybe it was only a couple of seconds. But, if Anderson walks and you're six games out in the loss column, you got to think hard about getting two seconds for him.
Stein: I think they feel like they have a decent chance to re-sign him. Now, I think it's quite clear he's going to go onto the market and he's going to play the field and see what comes up. The Pelicans do have an extra year, he's played well there, he does fit there. So, for two seconds, that would be tough. At this point they might as well go into free agency and take their chances. They could lose him, there's no question they could lose him. If two seconds was the best they could do I could see why they would say no to that.
Many Pelicans writers have noted that it is incorrect to equate one trade scenario to another. Sadly, the Pelicans organization itself fell for this common mistake as Stein notes that their expectations for Anderson were similar to what Morris would return.
I've been clear from the jump that Dell Demps needed to secure future asset(s) for Ryan Anderson for quite a while. Adding Anderson to Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, and Alexis Ajinca would mean the Pelicans are spending between $55 million and $60 million on big men this summer. That is a disaster of cap management in the unyielding march of "we can't let an asset walk away for nothing" that is Demps at the controls.
Hopefully whoever the general manager is in June and July will wise up and properly allocate the Pelicans available flexibility (and they do have quite a bit!) instead of dwelling in the past.