New Orleans Pelicans trade with the Brooklyn Nets
I don’t think the Pels would do this trade, but it might give them pause.
There are some concerns about how Jonas will fit now that Zion is back, as that is a lot of touches and body taking up space in the lane.
It’s possible that Valanciunas will shoot more 3’s but that would be taking away from his strength as a post player, so at that point, why not just get a better shooter? When healthy, Joe Harris one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, and he’d likely get plenty of wide-open looks with Zion, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum drawing most of the attention.
Harris has shot 44 percent for his career and has led the NBA in 3-point percentage twice, a skill that would help open up the Pels’ offense and make teams pay for doubling Zion and Ingram in the mid-range and paint.
The Pels have a couple of backup options in Jaxson Hayes and Willy Hernangomez, who is fresh off winning the MVP and gold medal for Spain in the FIBA EuroBasket tournament.
They also have veteran Larry Nance Jr. who can handle the center position in certain matchups, so trading Valanciunas for a shooter does make some sense if New Orleans wants to go with a more versatile, dynamic group.
There’s also the first-round pick, which could be a good one and would allow the Pels the chance to add more high-end talent, which is the key to the sustainable success they seek.
In the end, this is not going to happen, as Harris is too big a risk and Jonas too much of a known commodity, but it’s something that may be revisited later in the season if the half court offense is stalling or Valanciunas isn’t playing much of a role.