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Depth in a Time of Insomnia, Part II: Trades to try and save Pelicans season from DeMarcus Cousins injury and bench woes

Even when I can’t sleep, I can dream. Here’s some sleeplessness infused trade machine fun. Hate away. Or let me know what works and what doesn’t.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

As promised from this morning’s earlier article, here’s 11 more trade scenarios that could help the New Orleans Pelicans alleviate some of their roster issues stemming from a poor bench and the unfortunate Achilles injury to DeMarcus Cousins.

Trade 6: A Blockbuster of a 4-Way

The Pels and Bulls help facilitate improving the Cleveland locker room and add some star power to the Jazz. LeBron James loves him some veterans so Joe Johnson and his iso game could really help the bench scoring in Cleveland, but the Cavs can also turn Kevin Love who is apparently very disliked in Cleveland into other young quality pieces.

Mirotic can fill the role the Cavs had saddled Love with effectively while Rodney Hood will give them length, shooting, defense and some extra playmaking ability — all of which they’ve been needing.

Chicago gets first round picks from New Orleans and Utah to make this trade work. Utah isn’t a free agent destination, so getting Love for a few years makes sense for the Jazz.

Trade 7: Sleeping with the Enemy

Dallas can simultaneously tank to get another solid draft pick while also adding nice pieces for the future. With this move, the Mavericks could enter next season with Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, Nikola Mirotic and Robin Lopez with only a question mark at the two spot.

Chicago takes on salary and picks (2018 first from NO and a 2019 top 10 protected 1st from Dallas) in another year or two of rebuilding, but Wes Matthews could actually end up being a nice long term piece in Chicago.

The Pels rid themselves of Omer Asik and get short term help at the point with a long term upgrade defensively and athletically on the wing by bringing in Jrue’s brother.

Trade 8: Orlando Gets Out of Some Long Term Salary and the Pelicans and Cavs Benefit

New Orleans sends Jameer back to Magic for a retirement tour — replacing him with a potential rotation piece/starter for the long haul in New Orleans. Cleveland adds some youth, athleticism, defense, playmaking and shooting on the wing. Orlando sheds salaray and gets a first and a second from Cleveland and 2 seconds from New Orleans to add more youth or shed other bad contracts.

Trade 9: A Mutually Beneficial 3-Way

Here’s a trade that involves no picks — unless the Pels have to send a second and/or cash to Atlanta. The Lakers shed some long term salary and improve their draft stock — they could also turn Marco Belinelli, Ersan İlyasova and Luke Babbitt into more draft capital with their easily absorbable cap-friendly contracts. Atlanta also takes a step back to improve their draft stock while adding nice pieces like Clarkson and Nance Jr. A Dennis Schröder, Jordan Clarkson, Kent Bazemore, Larry Nance Jr. and John Collins lineup could work for the Hawks.

Trade 10: Another Way to Unite the Holidays

The Pelicans send Chicago their 2018 first round pick cost-effectively fill two holes in the rotation.

Trade 11: Defense, Athleticism and Screen Setting Get Pulled Out of a Hat

The Pelicans get Jonathan Simmons whom projects as a youthful version of Tony Allen — but one that is already a better scorer. Speights adds some shooting, rebounding, toughness and screen setting that we aren’t getting from Dante Cunningham. Orlando saves a little money on the Simmons deal and picks up a 1st round pick for the trouble.

Trade 12: Swinging for the Fences

You already know I love Rodney hood if you’ve read this or this. Sending a 1st and 2 seconds should be enough to bring him and Ekpe Udoh to New Orleans, which is a gamble I’m all in for.

Trade 13: Dead Men Walking for Dedmon Balling

Dewayne Dedmon is having a breakout year in Atlanta. He’s a solid rebounder, screen setter, defender and has now stretched his range out past the arc making him a very desirable third man in the Pelicans’ big man rotation. He’s also on a decent contract next season so this isn’t a short term fix. Due to his value and that the Hawks will be taking on Ajinca it likely takes a first, but his removal of Dante from the rotation and his injury insurance for Davis and Cousins could make the 1st rounder it may take to get him worth it.

Trade 14: Portland Needs a Shake-Up — Let’s Benefit From It

Mirotic would fit very nicely next to Nurkić and Al-Farouq Aminu giving them some added space and playmaking to ease Damian Lillard’s burden. I’ve already discussed all of the other players involved and what they bring — Chicago gets a first from both teams.

Trade 15: Boogie Lite — Passes Great, Less Dribbling

I LOVE Kyle O’Quinn. I believe he is the best third big man the Pelicans could reasonably get. He does everything you want — defends, rebounds, sets screens, has decent range on his jumper, plays well in the post and most importantly — he’s one of the best passing bigs in the league. Check his assist percentage numbers over the years — he’s consistently creative with the basketball. His salary is just under Ajinca’s this season providing a very playable big man and some slight breathing room at the hard cap for potential buyout candidates and 10-day contracts. He has a player option next season, which I’d think he’d decline, but stranger things have happened. 2 seconds and some cash could get this done.

Trade 16: You’re the Last Two People Left at the Bar — So Why Not?

When all other trades fall through — let a beloved member of the Magic return to Orlando with some cash for a playable big off of the bench.

Trade 17: It Would Take Some Magic to Make Ajinca Serviceable Again

Orlando has clearly given up on Elfrid Payton by floating his availability. Should no one come sniffing with a 1st rounder — the Pels could swipe the hometown point guard with 2 seconds and some cash.


Thank you and good night. I hope if you’ve made it this far it has made you tired enough to sleep through the night. Btw, which trade idea was your favorite?