New Orleans Pelicans: 3 and D role players to target at the deadline

Role players the Pelicans can target at the trade deadline. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Role players the Pelicans can target at the trade deadline. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Looking at a few 3-and-D role players the New Orleans Pelicans could target at the trade deadline to bolster their playoff chances

Believe it or not, but the New Orleans Pelicans are back in the mix in the Western Conference. At 10-12, the Pelicans have surged back from an early-season collapse to find themselves only a few games out from the playoff’s play-in tournament.

In my estimation, that means the Pelicans should definitely be buying at the upcoming trade deadline. With a frontcourt that’s ready to win-now, the Pelicans should look at a playoff run as a chance to give Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson valuable experience for the future.

So what exactly should the Pelicans be looking for in the market. Well, I wrote earlier in the week that they should try to improve their shooting guard position and aim big in doing so, but the reality is that the Pelicans bench is a much bigger issue. That’s why more realistically, the Pelicans should be looking to even out their roster by targeting a couple of capable 3-and-D role players.

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In scanning the NBA landscape, I found that these three targets feel realistic given what the Pelicans can offer in return. Let’s have look.

New Orleans Pelicans
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Pelicans should try to steal Avery Bradley away from the struggling Miami Heat

Trade Candidate #1: Avery Bradley

I’m not sure that the Miami Heat are definitely out of it per se in the Eastern Conference, but it’s definitely time to hit the panic button. At 8-14, the Heat’s prospects are looking grim, and they might decide to start selling off some of the smaller pieces on their roster.

Among those players, Avery Bradley interests me the most. Bradley is a quality shooting guard who can hit from distance reliably and play outstanding defense. Most importantly, he played for Stan Van Gundy in Detriot so he already understands the ins and outs of his system.

Adding Bradley to the Pelicans would give the team a sniper and reliable defender on the perimeter who’d be an instant upgrade over J.J. Redick. I could see Bradley coming off the bench or starting for the Pelicans depending on the scenario.

As for compensation, a heavily protected future first, a second round pick, and a throw-in like Nicolo Melli or Sindarius Thornwell could get this deal done.