New Orleans Pelicans: Grading the blockbuster Steven Adams Trade

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Grading the New Orleans Pelicans return in the expanded four-team trade blockbuster

Going into last night, the arrow seemed to be pointing down on the New Orleans Pelicans in 2021. The team had started the week by trading Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks and then continued to make multiple trades on draft night to stockpile assets for the future.

At least that’s how the situation appeared, but it turns out we just needed to see the big picture. What the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office executed last night could be called a masterstroke of executive work. They took their trade with the Bucks, and their draft-night trade with the Denver Nuggets and merged them while adding the Oklahoma City Thunder to the mix.

The result was a mega-deal that saw the Pelicans refresh their roster for a playoff run while adding more assets to their future, and giving up very little to opposing teams. Of course, that means the Pelicans get an A+ for the trade right? Well, let’s take a look at what happened and then we’ll decide.

The Trade

To fully explain this trade we have to break it up into two pieces. It alls starts with this initial trade that the Pelicans executed with the Milwaukee Bucks:

Pelicans Get
Eric Bledsoe
George Hill
1st Round Picks in 2020, 2025 & 2027
1st Round Pick swaps in 2024 & 2026
Bucks Get
Jrue Holiday

This deal was the foundation because the Pelicans were then able to route some of the assets they acquired in this deal to make this move happen:

Pelicans Get
Steven Adams
Nuggets Get
2020 1st Rd Pick via MIL (RJ Hampton)
Thunder Get
George Hill
Darius Miller
2023 Lottery-Protected 1st Rd pick (via DEN)
2nd Rd Picks in 2023 & 2024 (via NOP)

I know, what a move. The deal’s considered a four-team trade because the Pelicans ended up rerouting some of the assets from the Jrue Holiday to the Nuggets, and Thunder but it’s just much easier to think of it this way. Now with that out of the way, let’s look at what the New Orleans Pelicans got in this deal and what we graded the deal.

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