Pelicans trade rumors: Eric Bledsoe to the Clippers could work

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans
Ivica Zubac #40 and Luke Kennard #5 of the LA Clippers defend against a pass by JJ Redick #4 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans: Taking a gamble on Luke Kennard

The New Orleans Pelicans have the worst bench in the NBA and could desperately use a guy who can score and make plays.

Kennard is a plus 3-point shooter but hasn’t shown he can do much else. The talent is there but he may never get a chance on the Clippers, who can’t afford to develop players during the Kawhi Leonard/ Paul George era.

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The Pelicans have the luxury of time and Kennard theoretically gives them something they need, which is bench scoring. This move would allow them to move Josh Hart into the starting lineup, and would give them more depth off the bench.

But what about the defense? Kennard doesn’t play much of it, but guess what? The Pels’ defense stinks with Bledsoe and can’t get much worse, so at this point it might be worth it just to shake things up and take a chance on a former lottery pick.

Of course, Stan Van Gundy is well familiar with Kennard from his time in Detroit, so would know exactly how he might or might not fit in and may beg David Griffin to stay away.

There’s also the issue of Kennard’s dumb contract, which runs through 2023-24 with a team option for an additional year. This move would almost have to be coupled with a trade of J.J. Redick, but if Kennard moved into the Redick slot, that would still leave Bledsoe’s open for Lonzo Ball’s future deal, though might mean sacrificing Josh Hart.

It would be a risk for sure, but one that might be worth it for the Pelicans who could use Kennard’s 44 percent 3-point shooting off their bench.

It’s not a slam dunk for either team and would be painful for both in some ways but it might be a chance for both to improve now and in the future.

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