Updated look at the Pelicans’ lineup, rotation following Redick trade

James Johnson #16 of the Dallas Mavericks . (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Johnson #16 of the Dallas Mavericks . (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans traded J.J. Redick and Nicolo Melli to the Dallas Mavericks for journeyman James Johnson, Wesley Iwundu and a second-round draft pick.

The pick is coming from the Lakers and would currently be #54, so this was hardly a trade that will shake the foundations of the NBA or really help either team that much.

Dallas gets some theoretical 3-point shooting (though I have some bad news for them…) and the Pels get something for two guys who weren’t in the rotation anyway.

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This is a win for the Pelicans, as I assumed no team would give up anything for Redick or Melli, so to even get a second-round pick and James Johnson was a score.

This trade won’t be the thing that saves either team but it could make the New Orleans Pelicans better in the short term, as they at least added a player who can be part of the rotation.

Here is what the Pelicans’ starting lineup and rotation will look like post Redick and Melli.

New Orleans Pelicans: Starting lineup and rotations after Redick trade

Unfortunately, the Pelicans’ starting lineup of Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Steven Adams is not likely to change, even though we’ve been advocating for Kira Lewis Jr. to replace Bledsoe.

That might happen later in the season, but as long as the Pels have a chance at the play-in game, Stan Van Gundy is likely to go with his veterans.

That leaves Nickeil Alexander-Walker as the backup shooting guard, Lewis Jr. behind Lonzo, Josh Hart now likely backing up Ingram full time and the newly acquired James Johnson backing up Zion with Jaxson Hayes coming off the bench at the five.

PG: Lonzo Ball/Kira Lewis Jr.

SG: Eric Bledsoe/ Nickeil-Alexander Walker

SF: Brandon Ingram/ Josh Hart

PF: Zion Williamson/ James Johnson

C: Steven Adams/ Jaxson Hayes

The Pelicans didn’t get markedly better but they did add a potential rotation player behind Zion who can at least defend and rebound a little and will bring some toughness, things that Nicolo Melli does not offer.

It helps clean up their guard rotations, even though it would have been nice to jettison Bledsoe to clear more minutes for Lewis Jr. and NAW.

The New Orleans Pelicans still have a shot at the play-in game and maybe even the 8th seed, so who knows, this new and “improved” rotation might be enough to get them there.

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