Pelicans rumors: Is there a trade out there for Devonte’ Graham?

New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /

Devonte’ Graham had a down season for the New Orleans Pelicans, recording his lowest point totals and worst shooting numbers since his rookie season.

He found himself with a limited role down the stretch, as the Pelicans opted to go with rookies Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy III more off the bench.

With three small guards on the roster behind CJ McCollum, it makes sense that we are going to hear some trade rumors for one of them this summer, and Graham makes the most sense, as Alvarado played better and is on a cheaper deal and Kira Lewis Jr. is coming back off injury and also makes substantially less.

This matters on a roster that is about to get very expensive with Zion Williamson’s extension and possibly a raise for Jaxson Hayes looming.

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More fuel was added to the rumor fire by Will Guillory of The Athletic, who speculated in a recent article (SUBSCRIPTION) that Graham might be on the move:

It makes sense, but are the New Orleans Pelicans going to be able to find a trade partner?

New Orleans Pelicans: Is there a trade out there for Devonte’ Graham?

Any player can be traded, even guys with perceived negative value, but the New Orleans Pelicans would prefer not to have to attach an asset to move Graham.

Graham did have a down year but still has value to any team that needs bench scoring, as he can come in and drop 30 on any given night. On the right team and in the right role, Graham can be an effective player.

But he still has two more guaranteed years on his deal at $11 and $12 million and a third year that is partially guaranteed. It’s not the worst contract in the world, but it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to take it on without shedding a similar contract of their own.

Unless the Pelicans want to attach a pick, which they absolutely do not, they are likely going to have to take back a middling player on a similar deal, or a lesser player who is on an expiring contract.

If the New Orleans Pelicans decide to trade Devonte’ Graham straight up, there won’t be a robust market for him and the return will likely be minimal, so we may see him included in a bigger deal where his salary is necessary the incoming contract.

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