Pelicans and Pistons could make ideal trade partners

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Detroit Pistons tonight at home in the Smoothie King Center, looking to break their two-game slide.

The Pistons are currently the worst team in the NBA, and seem to be tanking again this season behind a very young roster that has lost 10 games in a row even with #1 pick Cade Cunningham.

The Pelicans are also young but probably had higher expectations for the season, though those have been dashed by Zion Williamson‘s fractured foot.

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If the Pelicans still think Zion will be back and have hopes of saving their season, the Pistons might have a guy who could help in Jerami Grant.

He’s the type of 3-and-D, third option the Pelicans could use, is on a value contract that only runs through next season, and is good enough to help the Pelicans win now while Zion is gone and would fit in well with him once he returns.

It’s a team to keep an eye on, especially if the Pelicans can string together a few wins, as they are still only five games out of the play-in and none of the teams between them and the 10th seed are any good either.

Here is a trade that could work:

The Pistons may be loathe to trade one of their only adult NBA players for more young guys, but would probably consider this offer, as they are the type of rebuilding team that could give Hayes and NAW time to develop.

Grant would give the Pelicans better defense and flexibility, as well as a guy who can get his own shot once in a while or spot up in the corners for 3-pointers. He would slide into the open cap space left from trading those three players and isn’t a long-term detriment to the cap sheet.

There is an argument to try and move Hayes and NAW now to clear cap space for next season precisely to be able to afford a guy like Grant. But I also see the argument in being patient and not giving up too soon on young players.

Pelicans vs. Pistons: Odds, over/under

According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are 5.5 point favorites at home against the lowly Pistons.

This is really one the Pelicans have to win if they want to keep any hope alive for a run later in the season. They can’t keep losing to bad teams.

The money lines are -220 for the Pelicans and +185 for the Pistons. Detroit will definitely be trying hard to end their long losing streak but the Pelicans do not want to get embarrassed at home by a team that has won four games. I like the Pels to win this one and stay under the 211.5 combined score.

How to watch

The game will be aired on Bally Sports New Orleans at 7:00 PM CT and you can listen on the radio at ESPN 100.3 FM.

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