Rumors: Pelicans want this All-Star big man (but a trade is problematic)

The Pelicans want this All-Star but will struggle to convince his current team to trade him.
New Orleans Pelicans, David Griffin
New Orleans Pelicans, David Griffin / Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans have several issues to address this offseason. Their biggest is what to do with Brandon Ingram. The All-Star is entering the final year of his contract and it is time to trade him if BI is set on signing a max contract. It is far from New Orleans's only issue, and the Pels must improve their roster's fit before training camp begins this fall.

Finding a starting center is a must. Jonas Valanciunas is headed towards unrestricted free agency and appears gone. The Pelicans tried to trade him last offseason, but no deal materialized. New Orleans needs an upgrade next to Zion Williamson, but finding one won’t be easy.

The Pels are over the cap but under the luxury tax. The franchise won't pay a hefty bill after a first-round playoff exit. It is time to upgrade their roster, and the latest rumors suggest New Orleans knows who they want. The franchise’s desire is clear, but the plans from the big man’s team are uncertain.

Rumors: Pelicans want Jarrett Allen

Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported their interest in Allen (subscription required) but noted the Pelicans have been unable to acquire him. The franchise has been chasing a center upgrade since the 2023 offseason and needs a rim protector next to Zion Williamson.

Allen averaged 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game in his seventh NBA season. The Cavaliers advanced to the second round of the playoffs, but an injury limited the 6’11 big man to just four postseason games.

Things are complicated in Cleveland. The Cavs could make changes this offseason, but they must decide who to build around as soon as possible.

Cavaliers do not want to trade Jarrett Allen

Cleveland has two undersized guards and two non-shooting big men on their roster, but they are hesitant to trade any of their four best players. Donovan Mitchell is extension-eligible this summer. If he declines a new contract, things could change quickly, but all signs point to him returning.

Marc Stein reported the Cavs do not want to trade Allen (subscription required) because of his close relationship with Mitchell. Keeping the five-time All-Star is the franchise’s top priority, but things could change if Mitchell declines an extension. He is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract, and the Cavaliers will be forced to explore his trade market.

If Mitchell departs, Allen could follow. The Pelicans figure to be one of the most aggressive teams in trying to acquire the All-Star big man. The Cavaliers would prefer to keep their core together and run it back. Much will depend on Mitchell’s extension and the fallout from it.

The New Orleans Pelicans figure to be active and aggressive in upgrading their roster this summer. They want to make a deep playoff run and know they need upgrades. Finding a starting center and better fits around Zion Williamson are the team’s top priorities. Stay tuned to see what David Griffin and the front office can make happen.