The New Orleans Pelicans fell to 3-16 after another lackluster loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I wrote recently that there were still reasons to be hopeful for the Pelicans’ season but that hope is dwindling with each loss.
There have been few bright spots outside of the play of Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones, both of whom will be nice fits with Zion Williamson when he finally returns.
Brandon Ingram isn’t going anywhere, nor is Devonte’ Graham or Trey Murphy III, as all three are part of the future plans and should fit well with Zion, JV and Herb.
Other than that, anyone could be moved and if the New Orleans Pelicans keep losing, we might see a fire sale before the trade deadline in an effort to get some future assets.
Pelicans’ trade category: Unlikely but could happen in a big deal
Kira Lewis Jr./ Naji Marshall/ Nickeil Alexander-Walker
I can’t see the Pelicans moving on from any of these guys unless they are chips in a bigger trade. Since there are unlikely to be any blockbuster trades involving the Pelicans, these guys are probably staying put.
Marshall hasn’t played much and has no trade value and trading either Kira Lewis Jr. or NAW now would be selling low and both have shown potential.
Only if there is an overpay on the table
Hart is having the best season of his career and is one of few Pelicans to show any fire. He is a fan favorite and on a low-cost deal that the Pelicans can get out of in year three. Unfortunately, outside of the core, he is the Pelicans’ best trade chip, but it’s hard to imagine them getting comparable value when you consider his all-around impact and low contract number.
Would be selling low, but we’re listening
Hayes has the Pelicans in a tough spot, as he has not been good enough to crack the rotation, doesn’t have a lot of trade value at the moment and continual benching may not be the answer.
Hayes obviously still has upside and is just 21-years-old, so giving up on him now would be admitting that he was a bad pick or that the Pels can’t develop anyone, which are things they are not likely keen to admit.
At this point it’s probably best to just let him play out the season and see if he can turn things around, but right now his lack of progress in year three is pretty disappointing.
Would the Pelicans dump him for a couple of second-round picks? I don’t think so but we’re not far from something like that if things don’t change.
Will be gone if there is an offer
Willy Hernangomez/ Garrett Temple/ Tomas Satoransky
I really like Hernangomez as a backup center, so I don’t think the Pels should move him considering he’s on a cheap contract and produces, but there are a handful of teams out there that could use a center and the Pels might be able to take advantage and net a future asset.
Temple and Satoransky are not part of the long-term plans and should be gone if there is anyone that wants them. These two are further proof that David Griffin botched the Long Ball saga by not trading him before last year’s deadline when they could have gotten more than two journeymen who should probably not be getting minutes in an NBA rotation.