Are the New Orleans Pelicans planning on making a trade?

Garrett Temple, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
Garrett Temple, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

As many of you are well aware, the New Orleans Pelicans are at the heart of their off-season, and that means that on any day, we could be receiving some form of transactional news.  And on Wednesday, we got one of those updates, as it was reported that the Pelicans and Garrett Temple have agreed to extend the deadline for guaranteeing his contract for next season (he’s owed 5.4 million dollars).

Before they agreed to move the date to July 7th, the Pelicans would have had to have reached a decision by June 29th (the date this post was published).

While what happens to Temple may not have massive on-court ramifications (he only played 162 minutes last season), his contract does play a semi-significant role in the Pelicans’ books.

Also, extending the date for guaranteeing Temple’s contract does give the Pelicans some time to potentially put together a trade. Remember, the team has been recently rumored to be interested in trading for Scoot Henderson – a deal that, more likely than not, would involve them parting ways with Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram.

Even if that doesn’t happen, Jake Fischer also mentioned that they could be looking to unload Jonas Valanciunas to add a center with more rim protection capabilities. So, maybe they could include Temple as a salary filler in that potential deal.

Another wrinkle here is that GQ’s Howard Beck reported on Wednesday that rival executives believe the Pelicans will be making “major moves” this off-season. Here is what he wrote:

"“Rivals are keeping an eye on Towns (Minnesota), Williamson (New Orleans), Deandre Ayton (Phoenix) and Zach LaVine (Chicago) as potential marquee trade pieces, though there’s skepticism any of them get moved this summer. The Clippers, after gauging the market for George in recent weeks, now seem intent on keeping him. Team executives do expect to see major moves by Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago and New Orleans, along with a continued churn in Washington.”"

On the surface, this Temple update may seem small. But as all these reports are hinting at, it could be a small part of something much, much bigger.

While the deadline for guaranteeing Temple’s contract has been extended, the Pelicans still need to decide whether they are picking up the team options of Herbert Jones (worth 1.8 million), Naji Marshall (1.9 million), and Willy Hernangomez (2.6 million) by Thursday, June 29th. They also need to decide if they are extending the qualifying offer to Jaxson Hayes by then as well.

dark. Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon