Pelicans: Is there a trade market for Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams?

Eric Bledsoe #5 and Steven Adams #12 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Eric Bledsoe #5 and Steven Adams #12 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are entering one of their most important offseasons in years, as they need to remake their roster and build a winner around Zion Williamson.

There have already been rumblings that Williamson’s camp is unhappy with New Orleans, but hopefully a new coach and some wins will change all of that.

The Pelicans have five picks in the NBA Draft, including #10, but draft picks are unlikely to be enough to turn this team around.

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To make real changes, they might have to move some contracts, specifically those of Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams, who were not great fits around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Of the two, Adams is far less likely to be traded, as he is still a serviceable center on a relatively team-friendly contract. He produced and helped the team’s interior defense, so there is place for Steven Adams, but if the Pels found the right deal, they would probably ship him out for a player who is a better fit with their roster.

Bledsoe seemed to have lost a step this season, wasn’t as good defensively and did next to nothing most nights on offense, so the Pels would love to trade him out for someone who better fixes some of their glaring holes.

But is there a market for either of them?

New Orleans Pelicans: The trade market for Steven Adams

I think Adams is the less likely of the two to be traded, but he’d be easier to move, as he is still a productive player and is on a reasonable contract that a lot of teams could take on.

There are a lot of teams that could use an infusion of rebounding and interior defense, so finding a taker for Adams probably wouldn’t be that difficult. Just off the top of my head, the Celtics, Hornets, Pacers, Clippers, Heat, Suns and Raptors are all teams that might use Adams’ services, so there is probably a trade out there if the Pelicans want to make one.

With new head coach Willie Green coming in, now might be the time to move on from Adams, but the Pelicans certainly aren’t desperate to do so.

New Orleans Pelicans: The trade market for Eric Bledsoe

When it comes to trading Eric Bledsoe, things get a lot trickier.

Unlike Adams, Bledsoe took a step back this season and no longer looked like the All-Defensive player he was the year before.

He was relegated to a guy who mostly stood in the corner waiting to shoot 3-point shots, though he did have some big games early in the season for the Pelicans.

Any team trying to trade for Bledsoe would need to believe that he still has some life in him and could turn things around with a change of scenery and a new role.

Bledsoe also has two years left on his deal, but the second is only partially guaranteed, so he could also be sold as an expiring contract to the right team.

The problem is that no team is going to take him on without getting something back in return or dumping an even worse salary on the Pelicans. The market for Bledsoe is going to be small unless the Pels attach an asset and most think it will be the 10th pick in the NBA Draft.

Giving up a lottery pick just to get rid of a guy is not a recipe for success, so the Pelicans may be stuck with Bledsoe until the trade deadline when his contract won’t be so daunting.

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