NBA Trades #9: New Orleans Pelicans
Despite having a relatively quiet offseason in terms of roster moves, there has been quite a bit of drama surrounding the New Orleans Pelicans and superstar Zion Williams. That even led to rumors that the Pelicans were considering trying to trade up in the 2023 NBA draft to try and acquire the draft rights to Scoot Henderson, with Zion presumably being a part of that deal.
That didn’t happen, but it doesn’t foreclose the possibility that the Pelicans could actually make a big trade to improve their roster around Zion and company. This particular proposal would see them send both starting and back centers Jonas Valanciunas and Larry Nance Jr., as well as two recent lottery picks Kira Lewis and Dyson Daniels. That would be a lot to give up, but the Pelicans are a deep team as is, and they are already looking to trade Valanciunas.
They would add to their already impressive core of CJ McCollum, Zion, and Brandon Ingram, who, while talented, have barely played together in a season and a half of being on the same team. He could be insurance in case one of them gets injured or they decide to trade one of their big three.
For the Raptors, Valanciunas and Nance could both later be flipped to other teams for more picks, while Lewis might provide depth at point guard, and Daniels projects to be a very good two-way starting guard. Overall, there might be better offers on the table, but Pelicans can put together at least a competitive one.