New Orleans Pelicans: How to fix the Pels in one offseason

Steven Adams #12, Brandon Ingram #14, Zion Williamson #1, Josh Hart #3 and Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Steven Adams #12, Brandon Ingram #14, Zion Williamson #1, Josh Hart #3 and Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/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) /

The New Orleans Pelicans came into this season with a lot of interesting pieces that may not fit.

They have identified Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram as the two foundational pieces of their rebuild but just about everyone else is suspect.

Lonzo Ball has probably played himself into a max extension, as he seems like the type of player who will fit well with the two stars and can be part of the core moving forward.

Everyone else? Well, that is up for debate. But what isn’t up for debate is that the Pels need a lot of changes before next season if they are going to contend for a playoff spot or more.

Their bench has been awful all season, so the Pels need depth.

They also need defenders, as they are currently 29th in the NBA in defensive rating, which can’t all be put on Stan Van Gundy’s scheme.

I’ve outlined the types of players the Pels need to add around Zion, so with that in mind, here is how to fix the roster in one offseason, starting with this year’s trade deadline.

New Orleans Pelicans: What the Pels should do at the trade deadline

If I were David Griffin, I’d be looking to make some trades with the future in mind. I recently wrote about which players the Pelicans should trade and keep and to be honest, there aren’t a lot of keepers on the list.

J.J. Redick will almost certainly be moved for an expiring contract and maybe a second-round pick. The Pels should also trade Eric Bledsoe, whose salary slot could be the first year of Lonzo’s extension.

I would also trade Josh Hart before the deadline, as he will command a raise that the Pelicans cannot afford and doesn’t have the the size or offensive consistency they need.

If they can find takers on Nickeil Alexander-Walker, they should also send him packing, as the Pels don’t need combo guards who don’t have a defined role.

Even Jaxson Hayes should be on the table, as he doesn’t seem to have the skillset that will work with Zion Williamson and could fetch an expiring deal and a pick at the deadline.

Heading into next offseason, the Pels should get as much of this money off the books as possible so that they can spend it on free agents (or future trades) for guys that better fit their stars.

In my opinion, the Pels should head into the offseason with Zion, Ingram Ball, Steven Adams and Kira Lewis Jr., with everyone else on the table.