The New Orleans Pelicans had 14 players under contract coming into this offseason, so have been relatively quiet since the NBA Draft.
There was a brief flurry of rumors about Kevin Durant, but those never materialized into much more than speculation.
Recently, the Utah Jazz have been the team of interest, as they are clearly blowing things up for a rebuild after trading stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
They still have valuable veterans with guards Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley Jr. but it’s forward Bojan Bogdanovic who has been attached to the Pelicans according to Jake Fisher’s most recent podcast.
The Pelicans are already loaded at forward, so does Bojan Bogdanovic really make sense for them and what would it take to get him?
Pelicans trade rumors: Bojan Bogdanovic
Let’s start with the second part first, as the Pelicans definitely have what it takes to make a trade for an impact talent like Bogdanovic with a package like this:
I’d say that is at the high end of what the Pels would have to give up for a 33-year-old who only has one year left on his contract. But Graham is a guy the Pelicans have already been shopping, and Hayes is on the final year of a deal that New Orleans hasn’t yet shown they want to extend.
The first-round pick could be a sticking point, but the Pelicans have a ton of picks in upcoming drafts and already have plenty of young talent, so losing one pick would not be the end of the world.
The cost would be worth it for a proven scorer like Bogdanovic, who has also been very reliable over his career.
But is he a fit? The Pelicans already have forwards Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Jaxson Hayes, Trey Murphy III and Larry Nance Jr.
Let’s break that down. Ingram, Jones and Murphy III are versatile guys who can play either forward spot or even two-guard if necessary. Hayes would likely be gone in the trade, and Nance Jr. is probably going to log a lot of time as a small-ball center.
Bogdanovic could just slide into the second unit as a power forward (his best position now) and play big minutes off the bench as the primary scoring option in the second unit. This is a guy who is a knockdown high-volume 3-point shooter who averaged 18 points per game last season, so adding him to an already strong roster would give the Pels one of the deepest groups in the NBA.
And they could use his 3-point shooting, as right now the bench is light on guys who can knock them down outside of Trey Murphy III. Bogdanovic would make teams pay for doubling off of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, while giving them an experienced player who has been a winner his entire career.
If the Pelicans can make a move like this, they should, as the cost isn’t that high and Bogdanovic could be the final piece to a championship roster.