Should the Pelicans be patient or go for it with a big trade?

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, 2022 NBA Draft, Pelicans draft
People look at the draft lottery order after the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery at McCormick Place. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans were the only team in the NBA Draft Lottery that made the playoffs this season, a rare position to be in, as they will get to add elite talent to a team that is already good.

The Pelicans are also getting Zion Williamson back, so there is a chance they will be contenders without making any additional roster moves. New Orleans already has 14 players under contract for next season and when you look at their depth chart, do not have a glaring positional need.

With a good mix of young and veteran talent with another top-10 draft pick on the way, the Pelicans are set up to contend now and into the foreseeable future.

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But they have the contracts and assets to make a splashy move that could push them into title contention next season. So should they go for it or stay patient?

New Orleans Pelicans: The argument for patience

There are few teams in the NBA with the Pelicans’ roster stability, and they have the kind of balanced roster age-wise that most teams are looking for.

They are going to extend Zion Williamson this summer, so the roster is about to have four guys on max or near max deals, which means they need to keep a steady stream of cheap talent in the pipeline.

Yes, they could trade their pick and a few contracts for a better guy, but that could potentially strain the team’s future financial flexibility.

The Pelicans took the best regular season team in the NBA to six games and gave them problems, so they aren’t far away from competition for a title now, especially after Zion returns.

There is no reason to go for it now, as they may be able to get there without making a splashy move, which would leave them better off financially for the future.