Since roughly the start of this calendar year, the word on the streets has been that the New Orleans Pelicans possess no interest in moving any players off their roster before the upcoming trade deadline. In fact, they were rumored to be in the market to add another veteran.
According to his most recent podcast with Dave McMenamin, Zach Lowe now seems to view the landscape differently and he believes that New Orleans is likely to become sellers.
“And I said on this podcast maybe a week ago with Arnovitz that the consensus among the other 29 teams was that the Pelicans were in sort of a stand-pat mode with some of their trade guys,” said Lowe. “I’m not sure that’s the case a week and a half later. I think we’re going to hear some buzz on sell trades as the deadline approaches. That’s all I’m going to say for now.”
The Pelicans just witnessed Zion Williamson make his debut last night. Although they lost to the Spurs, the team had previously won 11 of 16 games and sat 3.5 games in back of the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Adding a dynamic game changer to the fold — Zion was scintillating in a tick over three minutes played against San Antonio in scoring 17 straight points for the Pels — should be considered a roster upgrade, right?
Well, perhaps something’s changed. Maybe a veteran has decided he would rather finish this season elsewhere, a computer projection/an important front office voice/etc feels the team’s playoff odds have decreased enough to shift course, or that a buyer sitting out in the market has upped their bid and the offer has become too tantalizing to pass up.
Whatever the reason, Lowe isn’t a guy who typically blows smoke. He also went on to mention “Jrue Holiday is going to be the obvious name” later in this podcast when discussing playoff teams looking for upgrades.
This news could undoubtedly reverse course once more tomorrow, but we’re now just two weeks away from the trade deadline. Nothing is set in stone until the clock strikes 3:01 p.m. Eastern on February 6th.