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 /
3 of 3
New Orleans Pelicans, Damian Lillard
New Orleans Pelicans, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

Would the New Orleans Pelicans accept this trade for Damian Lillard?

The Pelicans give up C.J. McCollum, Dyson Daniels, Kira Lewis Jr., and three first-round draft picks to acquire Lillard. McCollum’s playmaking improved in New Orleans, but he is not at Lillard’s level. The seven-time All-Star would lift the Pelicans out of the bottom ten in 3-pointers made and gives them a massive offensive boost.

New Orleans put Kira Lewis Jr. on the blocks this summer and is ready to move on. The 2020 lottery pick has struggled to get minutes and to produce on both ends of the floor.

Dyson Daniels was the eighth overall pick in 2022, and the 6’8 point guard has massive upside. The Pelicans are not eager to part with the young talent, but it is a must to make this move.

Giving up one starter, two prospects, and three first-round picks is a light return for Damian Lillard. This is a wise move by the Pelicans, but it may not put them in title contention. Lillard is an undersized point guard, and the team’s defense may not be enough.

Grade: B+

The New Orleans Pelicans should improve their roster, and this deal puts them closer to title contention. It is not easy to acquire a superstar. The grade lands at a B-plus because of concerns about Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram’s health that could keep the franchise from contending and make Dame unhappy in the Big Easy.

Will the Pelicans make a blockbuster trade before February’s deadline? It is something to watch, so please stay tuned.