The NBA trade deadline is set for February 23rd this year, just six weeks away from today. The Cleveland Cavaliers got the wheeling and dealing started last week when they received Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams and a future protected first round pick.
Sporting a 15-24 record, the New Orleans Pelicans undoubtedly have an array of needs, can they get richer too? Specifically, the offense needs help as the flag-waving for points has stood front and center for much of the season. Since pointing out the offensive woes last week, I’ve seen numerous pieces go on to echo the same disturbing trend including this video clip from The Vertical and this article from Vice Sports.
As is the case with most teams, the front office would love to acquire a two-way player, hence the reason Dell Demps reportedly kicked the tires on Paul Millsap. However, this route seems rather unlikely, even if the Pelicans were to offer some combination of their 2017 first round pick, Cheick Diallo, Buddy Hield and salary filler in the form of perhaps Tyreke Evans, Omer Asik or Alexis Ajinca. There exist teams with more enticing trade packages, plus I’m not of mind that Demps is ready to gut the team for a player perhaps not willing to stay in New Orleans for the long haul.
A more realistic target for New Orleans is a scoring forward, with a particular focus on the three position and more than likely a veteran — it’s not hard to foresee the Pelicans remaining in the thick of the battle for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Both Solomon Hill and Dante Cunningham have underwhelmed offensively so this is a good place to start. Expect for the Pelicans to think similarly as they were linked to Will Barton this past December.
As to whom they may pursue? Watch the teams that start or continue to fade down the standings as they search for help in areas of weakness or become sellers. The Denver Nuggets, with Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, are a candidate as well as the Kings (Rudy Gay), Magic (Jeff Green) and maybe Heat (James Johnson).