Things have not gone as planned for the New Orleans Pelicans rebuild. After landing the number one pick and taking Zion Williamson, and trading Anthony Davis for a trio of players, things were looking up. However, Zion and his family are not happy in New Orleans and want to leave.
Two head coaches have been fired in two years. Josh Hart wants a fresh start. The Heat is interested in Brandon Ingram. The Knicks and Bulls have shown interest in Lonzo Ball. It has also been confirmed the Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe will not be with the team next season. Here are some things to consider.
Z to NYC?
It may sound crazy, it is the NBA after all. Zion played at Duke with fellow top five pick RJ Barrett. There were some rumblings that New Orleans was trying to make a move to take the second overall pick away from Memphis to keep them together. The Knicks have the 19th and 21st picks in the draft while the Pelicans have one first rounder and three seconds. A trade could look something like this:
Pelicans get: both first round picks, Immanuel Quickley, second round pick, future pick
Knicks get: Zion, Lonzo, Pelicans first round pick, at least one of the three second round picks, future pick
The idea here is for the Knicks to get a replacement guard and restore the on court chemistry with Zion and Barrett. Derrick Rose is 32 and won’t play forever. Even if Ball has to come off the bench, he’ll be in a better position to win. The Pelicans will get a young point guard to replace Ball and two first round draft picks to spend on a power forward or any other position of need. They could also package the picks to move up in the draft.
The rest of the unhappy party
Now it gets a little more difficult. The Heat roster isn’t that bad, they just under delivered. Ingram could benefit from playing alongside power forward Bam Adebayo. It would make some sense to send Precious Achiuwa in return. Ingram would play the small forward in Miami and that’s what Achiuwa primarily plays. Jimmy Butler is also closer to the end of his career. Ingram would make a good replacement. Eric Bledsoe will be difficult to trade because he’s a 31 years old point guard.
That leaves Adams and Hart. If Porzingis leaves Dallas, Adams could be the new big guy for the Mavericks. That all depends if the interest is mutual. Adams is on the older side was well. Hart can play both shooting guard and small forward which adds some value. Hart being traded to the sixers could logical since could add scoring touch to a philly team trying to get over the hump with a solid group.
He was benched mostly this season, but averaged 9.7 points a game last year. He also played at Villanova so a connection already exists. No matter what the Pelicans decide to do, it will be key to get some young players and picks in return. Safe to say the good times won’t be rolling anytime soon.