The New Orleans Pelicans have been a disappointing team this season, with many expecting them to make the playoffs based on the talent that is present on the roster. However, despite the play of All-Star Zion Williamson, they were unable to even reach the play-in tournament.
It is clear that the New Orleans Pelicans need to do something with the roster in order to help Zion Williamson make the playoffs. A recent report has suggested that the Pelicans have offered trade Brandon Ingram and picks for Damian Lillard. The Portland Trail Blazers lost in the first round to an injury-ravaged Denver Nuggets team, and perhaps it could be time for a rebuild.
It seems as though this Brandon Ingram - Damian Lillard swap could help both teams fulfill their goals. Here is why a trade could be beneficial for both franchises.
The Trail Blazers Get An All-Star Talent For Damian Lillard
If Damian Lillard were to ever request a trade, there would certainly be a lot of teams that would offer up trade packages for him, as he is a superstar. When teams trade superstars, they often get a lot of picks and young prospects.
While young prospects are definitely a good thing when it comes to a rebuild, it seems as though getting a young All-Star like Brandon Ingram could be more appealing for the Portland Trail Blazers. There are times that prospects don't pan out: not every player is destined to be an All-Star.
Brandon Ingram would give the Trail Blazers a lengthy wing who is a three-level scorer and has potential as a defender. Ingram averaged 23.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.9 APG this season, and showed his versatility as an offensive player who can do a little bit of everything. A particular strength of Ingram's is his shot creation, and he can often hit tough shots in isolation.
While Brandon Ingram is obviously not a player that is a superstar like Damian Lillard, getting an All-Star volume scorer as the talent centerpiece of a trade wouldn't be bad at all for the Trail Blazers. When you factor in the picks as well, this seems like a great package for Portland if they decided to trade Lillard.
The Pelicans Pair A Superstar With Zion Williamson
The obvious appeal of this deal for the New Orleans Pelicans is assembling a duo of Zion Williamson and Damian Lillard. It seems as though both players could play off one another.
Damian Lillard is known for his outstanding marksmanship from beyond the arc, and he has an uncanny ability to knock down extremely deep shots. Zion Williamson on the other hand is a dominant interior presence who is adept at finishing at the rim. An offense featuring the two would be extremely versatile, and it seems as though the two would be a great fit on the court.
Zion Williamson's presence would also lessen Lillard's offensive load. The Portland Trail Blazers haven't been able to get him a co-star during his time there: if he were to be paired with Williamson, he would have plenty of space to operate due to the defensive attention that Williamson commands. On the Pelicans, Damian Lillard won't face defenses who sell out to stop him, simply because they wouldn't be able to do that with Williamson on the court. Lillard would also be able to be the fourth quarter closer, due to his shot creation and perimeter-oriented skillset.
It is clear that a Zion Williamson - Damian Lillard duo could potentially be deadly, and perhaps the New Orleans Pelicans will manage to convince the Trail Blazers to trade away their superstar with this enticing trade package.