The New Orleans Pelicans made the big trade of the deadline so far, nabbing CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell for a package built around Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and picks.
The deal looked like a slam dunk for the Pelicans, especially with the addition of Nance, who theoretically replaces what they lost by dealing Josh Hart.
But we’ll have to wait and see, as Nance won’t be joining the Pels anytime soon.
Nance had been out with an injury, so this isn’t a complete surprise, one that I am sure the Pelicans knew about when they made the deal.
New Orleans gave up two rotation players who were logging heavy minutes and only took one back in the trade, so where is the bench production going to come from with Larry Nance out indefinitely?
The Pelicans’ depth chart isn’t so deep
The Pelicans top-6 guys will be McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones, Jonas Valanciunas, Devonte’ Graham and Jaxson Hayes in some order, but after that it gets murky.
They have two-way player Jose Alvarado, who has been playing well of late, and veteran options in Garrett Temple, Gary Clark, Willie Hernangomez and Tony Snell to go along with Naji Marshall and Trey Murphy III, who have played sparingly this season.
The Pelicans are obviously counting on big things from Hayes, who has played very well of late and will have a much more important role off the bench or as a starter until Nance or Zion Williamson return.
Alexander-Walker wasn’t good this season, but he was playing a lot, so those minutes are going to have to be made up somewhere.