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New Orleans Pelicans

Deadline Day!!!




Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the trade deadline. Sure, the potential player movement is fun and interesting, but it hinders how I like to talk about the NBA for about a month. Mostly because all anyone wants to do is figure out how the team they root for can screw another team out of their assets. Usually without really taking a good look at their own team’s. Which don’t get me wrong, I totally understand, but playing Devil’s advocate/the other team to my friend’s 30th Omer Asik trade can be a little tiresome (Thanks for finally moving him Dell!).

So naturally, I decided to branch out. I wanted to take a break from my friend’s and family’s bad trade ideas, and look at my favorite ones from Twitter. The goal here is to break each one down from both sides giving reasons why each one could and could not happen.

First things first though, my own deadline prediction. I always thought it would be a quiet deadline for the Pellies, with Dell trying to make a move to get more under the Salary Hardcap to acquire players that get bought out after the deadline. Obviously the Mirotic deal blew that idea of passiveness out of the water, but with the Pels still having some room under the Hardcap, I still see buyout players as more of an option than an actual trade, especially now. Now, onto the trades:

Deals with more than Ajinca

Probably the most unrealistic part of all the deals you’ll see to me, is that teams would want Ajinca (injured meh center with another guaranteed year) and to give up something useful for him and a second. This trade at least gives the team a bit more:

Why The Pels Do This: The Pelicans get their coveted wing player. While his defense is a bit lacking, Fournier is, offensively, very capable and has the size that a player like Moore is lacking as the nominal 3. While Orlando hasn’t been very good in the last 3 seasons, Fournier has been in their top 3 in PPG and it’d be interesting to see him in a more back seat role long term if the team is able to bring back Boogie. Plus you actually get to keep your French status quo that you don’t get in the other AA trades.

Why Orlando Says No: With commitments to Biyombo and Vucevic next season, on top of almost certainly bringing back Aaron Gordon (Jake’s’s Note: I’m not so sure about that!), I don’t see Orlando burning more cap space at the big positions. Moore is a cheaper alternative than Fournier, but they’re also pretty set money-wise with Terrence Ross and maybe Hezonja at the 2 next season. On top of the idea that they’d have to cut 2 players just to make this happen. Logistically, all around it’s clunky and a hassle for Orlando.

Why Dante Cunningham Says No: Simmons, Issac, Gordon, Speights, Vucevic. All guys I think are better options than DC. Can’t forget that he has some say in this and is playing for his next contract.

  • Bud Lane (@bud22089) sent 4 ideas in 1 tweet so I had to cut them up
  • Deal is ORL gets Ajinca, Diallo, Frank Jackson, 2nd rounder & NOP gets Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja

Why The Pels Do Thus: Honestly, I have no idea. I guess Elf gets to come home? I like the idea of both of these players, but frankly the idea of having to pay them both next season is a bit frightening. The Pels might solve some of their wing and PG depth issues, but, probably, not really.

Why Orlando Says No: See all the Ajinca stuff from the other Orlando trade + add in an underwhelming big prospect and and 2 broken foot rookie and it becomes pretty clear why Orlando might steer clear.

These Deals Might Be OK if AA Was Expiring

Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but let me shout it from the rooftops: I DON’T SEE ANYONE TAKING AJINCA’S CONTRACT! Man, if he was an expiring I think these could be more realistic, but alas…

Why The Pels Do This: Anything Playable > AA’s contract and injury

Why The Knicks Say No: I just find it hard to believe the Knicks would do a solid for Dell. They already have a massive albatross in Noah and adding another poor value contract on top just seems silly for them. Even if they probably won’t need the space next season because of Kristaps’s ligament tear. Even for seconds.

  • Bud Lane part 2
  • Lakers Receive Ajinca, 2nd rounder & Pels receive Julius Randle

Why The Pels Do This: This one makes more sense before Mirotic to me. I think a potential AD+Boogie+Mirotic+Freshly Paid Randle is a bit too much salary-wise to do this

Why The Lakers Say No: Because they reportedly already have according to Michael Scotto of the Athletic

All The Qualifying Offers!

Probably my favorite grouping. I went into this thinking that there wouldn’t really be a common thread for the types of players that fans wanted, but interestingly enough, players on 1 year qualifying offers (essentially players that were restricted but couldn’t come to an agreement for a longer deal with their team) were a nice theme to see. It makes sense though, Pel’s fans are starved for youth at the moment and these are the guys that their team isn’t entirely committed to, for whatever reason.

Why The Pels Do This: Another that makes more sense before Mirotic deal. With JaMychal Green’s contract spanning into next season, not sure I see the fit money-wise. His contract does shrink by nearly a million dollars to 7.8 million so it’s not some giant contract. It’s still a lot for a 4th big.

Why The Grizz Say No: I admittedly think it makes sense if the Grizz are just deciding to pack it in and start selling pieces. If not, I don’t see them taking on AA with the rising Parsons, Gasol, and Conley deals.

  • Bud Lane again
  • Suns Receive AA and a 2nd, Pels receive Alex Len

Why The Pels Do It: Get a decent true Center for the rest of the season. Don’t think he’d start but he’d allow Anthony Davis to move away from the 5 for stretches. Bird rights on a 4th big. Gets rid of AA contract at worst

Why The Suns Say No: The Suns are a bit in flux. They have some decent pieces and those pieces could get better, or be traded to teams looking for younger prospects for better pieces. I just don’t see how eating Ajinca’s contract helps a team that might use their cap space

Why The Pels Do It: Finally get to see AD and Noel together on top of bringing in a young player in a contract year. At worst they get rid of Alexis Ajinca’s deal next season like the Alex Len deal.

Why The Mavs Say No: The Mavs don’t really have a great big set for next season. I’d imagine the idea of Noel  getting paid a bit more is a better prospect than having Ajinca sit on the books


And there you have it. I don’t know about you, but after going through all of these, 2pm can’t come soon enough

From New Orleans by way of Escondido, Luis Enrique is one of the original moderators of the Pelicans SubReddit and contributed work to the now defunct Stoop Sports.

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