Grade the trade: Pelicans land Damian Lillard in shocking 3-team proposal

New Orleans Pelicans, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Orleans Pelicans are growing impatient. Drafting Zion Williamson with the top pick was supposed to make them a contender, but the franchise has just one playoff appearance in his first four years. Zion has struggled to stay healthy and changes are on the horizon. Fans heard the trade rumors this summer, and they will only grow louder if the disappointment continues.

New Orleans has young talent, but do the pieces fit? Brandon Ingram has struggled to stay healthy, the Pels want a center upgrade over Jonas Valanciunas, and some of their lottery picks have not panned out. How can David Griffin and the front office get the franchise into title contention?

It may take another massive splash. Multiple All-Stars on the trade block, but can New Orleans acquire one? They have the draft capital and young talent. The Pelicans need to find the right fit for their roster.

Can the New Orleans Pelicans get in on the Damian Lillard sweepstakes?

Lillard has requested a trade, but the Miami Heat are the only team on his list right now. The standoff has lasted over a month and no deal is close. The Blazers do not want what Miami is offering, which puts pressure on Dame.

Does the seven-time All-Star expand his list of teams or rescind the trade request? Portland has zero reasons to sell low with Lillard locked up long-term. They will wait for the right package, and it is on Dame to find it. If he cannot, the seven-time All-Star is stuck with the Blazers.

The New Orleans Pelicans want to improve and have the capital to acquire a star. The Trail Blazers are waiting for a better offer. Does New Orleans step up and try to land Lillard? Bleacher Report offered a hypothetical proposal to pair Zion Williamson with Damian Lillard in the Big Easy.