While the New Orleans Pelicans on the court continue to languish coverage of this franchise has never, ever been better. In recent months The New Orleans Advocate has added Scott Kushner and Brett Dawson to their coverage team. ESPN added Justin Verrier to cover the Pelicans just this year and the added cache of a national media outlet (which the Saints and Pelicans have long been more amicable) has added an increased level of access and inside information that has sorely lacked; especially during the Shinn years.
This morning Verrier appeared on an episode of the Dunc'On Basketball Podcast, hosted by Nate Duncan. There is a ton of information in the podcast, running nearly 47 minutes long: details on the injuries that shelved Anthony Davis, backstory on Monty Williams tenure, mention of Dell Demps potential successor, and some team building discussion. We won't spoil the entire thing, (go listen to it!) but there is one very specific thing that deserves it's own article; the NBA trade deadline.
Justin explains, around the 34 minute mark, some of the offers the Pelicans may have turned down for soon-to-be free agent Ryan Anderson. One such player who comes up specifically is a target high on the list of many Pelican fans; K.J. McDaniels.
Verrier: I heard there is a possibility they might have landed the same deal Detroit got from the Rockets with Motiejunas and maybe even K.J. instead of Marcus Thornton. That was something but then obviously the medical records just didn't work out there.
Duncan: To me I would have taken K.J. and nothing else for Ryan Anderson. I don't think he (Anderson) is coming back there. Do you think there's any chance they re-sign him? Especially with the reporting that Woj had that he's gonna test the market and try to get top dollar.
K.J. McDaniels has played just 148 minutes for the Houston Rockets this season while bouncing back and forth to the Rockets D-League affiliate Rio Grande Vipers. He is under contract for two more seasons at a relatively paltry sum ($3.3M in 2016-17, $3.4M in 2017-18) with the final season as a team option according to Basketball Insiders.
While still developing the three in 3&D (he's shot just 28% beyond the arc in the NBA and a more impressive 35.3% in the D-League according to Basketball Reference) McDaniels is still relatively young having just turned 23 in February. For comparison sake that makes McDaniels younger than Gary Payton II, Malcolm Brogdon, and A.J. Hammons; three players slotted around the Pelicans two second round picks in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Despite constant reporting that the offers for Anderson were bad, here might be another example that the Pelicans were probably asking for too much in return. What could the Pelicans possibly do with a young 6'6" wing player right now and in the future? The mind boggles.