The New Orleans Pelicans have struggled mightily to start the season. Injuries, lack of experience, and a stacked Western Conference have them sliding in the standings and way out of the playoff picture.
Still, they have a very promising young core that’s blossoming and could turn this team into a contender a couple of years from now, so they might as well start trading away their veterans and give the young guns as many minutes as they can.
And with Zion Williamson likely out until February – or maybe even out for the entire season – there’s no need to keep their veterans if they can get some value in return. But, who to trade? Let’s take a look:
It’s been a while since E’Twaun Moore was valuable for their rotation. The Pelicans are stacked at the shooting guard spot and have some young players like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart, so there’s no need to give him 20 minutes a game.
Also, he’s on an expiring deal this season so a team trying to clean some cap space could use his contract and offer a 2nd round pick in return. He’s not going to do much on the court, but his deal will be off the books in no time.
Derrick Favors is more than capable of contributing for a contending team, especially off the bench. He’s a walking double-double threat that can score in the post at will, and a solid offensive rebounder.
Injury proneness aside, he could draw a lot of attention in the trade market this season, especially considering he’s also set to become a free agent at the end of the season and teams wouldn’t need to risk much to get him.
Jrue Holiday is just too good to waste his prime years on a team with no possibility to contend for an NBA Championship, and his top-notch defense and playmaking ability will surely draw plenty of offers.
The Pelicans have Lonzo Ball as their starting point guard for the future, and they’d be wise to try and get rid of Holiday’s 126 million dollar contract, that’s set to expire after the 2021-22 season.
JJ Redick was pretty clear about his desire to keep his streak of making the playoffs alive at the start of the season. Hence, you know he must be unhappy with the way the Pelicans are performing right now.
Redick is a prime trade candidate thanks to his sharpshooting abilities and reasonable contract, so we would expect him to be tied with a lot of rumors as the trade deadline approaches.