The New Orleans Pelicans have not yet reached their full potential and are still 7-6 after a road-heavy start to the season.
There have been plenty of positives, but the Pels still have some issues, as they are not getting much rim protection and have gotten little from their bench of late outside of veteran Larry Nance Jr. and bursts from Trey Murphy III.
CJ McCollum has been struggling and the Pels’ depth is starting to look a little less deep than it did at the beginning of the season. This is a good team, but there is always room for improvement, which is why the Pels could seek out a trade at some point this season.
They have the ammunition to do it with young players, expiring contracts and a pile of draft picks, which is exactly the combination of things rebuilding teams are looking for.
I took a look at three of the possible tankers, leaving out the Houston Rockets, who have a young roster with no real trade targets, and the Los Angeles Lakers for obvious reasons. All three of these teams have players that might be able to help the New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans Pelicans: Trade targets on the tanking teams
Orlando Magic (4-9)
- Bol Bol
- Mo Bamba
The Magic have some talent and rookie Paolo Banchero looks like a legit superstar, so there is no guarantee that they will finish the season at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
But they do have a couple of players they could look to move. There is a certain contingent of Pelicans’ Twitter that has been screaming for Bol Bol for years, so I’m sure he’d be welcome in the Crescent City.
He’s having the best season of his career and is making peanuts, so it’s hard to see the Magic moving him unless they were getting a pretty good return. He’s putting up 11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game and has so far stayed healthy. Orlando may want to sell high on the oft-injured Bol, but given his age and potential, they’d probably be better off keeping him.
Bamba’s minutes are way down this season and he doesn’t look to be part of the future plans, so he’s a more realistic option than Bol Bol at this point. Bamba is a guy who can do one thing the Pelicans need, which is block shots.
Bamba’s salary for next season is not fully guaranteed, so he wouldn’t represent any long-term commitment. He’s a name to watch, as the Pels could use another shot blocker.