The Pelicans saved their trade ammunition…for now

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans have stayed in the shadows this offseason, not making any bold moves on the trade market.

The team was mentioned in rumors several times, but nothing ever came of it. The Pels have a strong roster and don’t need to make a trade, so it’s not completely surprising that they like what they are building and want to see how all of the parts fit when Zion Williamson returns.

But yesterday the Detroit Pistons traded Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee for Bojan Bogdanovic, a guy many speculated the Pels might trade for. When you see the cost, you have to wonder if they should have made a move for Bogdanovic, but it’s possible they didn’t have a package they were comfortable giving up (or one Utah wanted) for the 33-year-old, even though he does seem like a good fit.

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The Pelicans are one of the teams in the NBA that have both the young players, expiring contracts and draft assets to make a splashy trade, but for now they can benefit from being patient and seeing how things shake out with their own roster, as well as the rest of the league.

The New Orleans Pelicans can afford to wait

The Pelicans have a ton of talent up and down the roster, but it’s still unclear how it all fits together or who will even be in the 10-man rotation.

It will take some time for head coach Willie Green to figure out his rotations, especially at the back end. It will also take time for the coaching staff and front office to identify their biggest weaknesses and how they can address them.

There are always upgrades available at the trade deadline and the Pelicans will have all of the same assets then that they have now. They can be patient, assess their needs and identify players that might be superfluous and available for trade.

We have no clue what can happen between now and the trade deadline, or which players might be available that might not be now.

The Pelicans are happy to sit on their trade ammunition for now, but they are going to be a team to watch all season, as they can make a splashy move for impact talent after they more clearly know what it is they need.

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