The New Orleans Pelicans could have a radically different roster next season.
They have key free agents in Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart who might not return, but are sitting on a mountain of future draft picks and still have some nice young players they could trade for a proven star.
The Pelicans can certainly get one in the draft if they get lucky or via free agency if they can clear some cap space, but their best chance of getting a star player is probably by trading for him.
Pels’ fans would love a guy like Jaylen Brown, but that is not likely to happen, as the Celtics are still a good team and not looking to blow things up or rebuild.
This is why the Pelicans might have to look a little further down in the standings to get their third star.
New Orleans Pelicans: Targeting a good player on a bad team
One option for the Pelicans is to try and find a good player who is currently on a bad team. Teams like the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers are still a few years away from competing, so might try to cash in their veterans for more future assets.
Both teams are choosing in the lottery this year, just like the Pelicans, but unlike the Pelicans, don’t have a 20-year-old generational superstar to build around. Having Zion Williamson changes the goals and expectations for a franchise, so the Pelicans don’t have the same luxury of patience that the Pistons and Cavaliers do.
Here are two players who fit the New Orleans Pelicans and might be had for a moderate package that the Pels could afford.