NBA Trades: Hawks shake up roster in daring proposed deal with Pelicans

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls - Play-In Tournament
Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls - Play-In Tournament / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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NBA Trades: Should the New Orleans consider the deal?

For New Orleans, this trade would bring them arguably their biggest change in the Zion Williamson era. Ingram has been teammates with Williamson throughout Zion's entire NBA career, dating back to 2020.  

The two haven't achieved much playoff success together in large part because of injuries, particularly to Zion, who has always struggled to stay healthy. Williamson is currently out with a hamstring injury he suffered late in a play-in loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans lost to the No. 1 seed OKC Thunder, and Williamson didn't see the court before the Pelicans season reached its end. 

Ingram was mediocre in the series, averaging only 14.3 points while shooting a poor 34.5% from the field. As a result of his performance, his future with the Pelicans remains unclear. He is only under contract for one more season before entering unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2025. With Williamson, C.J. McCollum, and more likely than not Trey Murphy soon to be near the top of the payroll, New Orleans may not want to pay the hefty price that will be Ingram's new contract.

They also have Jonas Valanciunas's free agency to deal with this summer. Valanciunas has been a solid player for the Pelicans throughout his three seasons there, but he has his faults, particularly on the defensive end. There were rumors earlier this season that New Orleans may look to move Valanciunas in favor of a more defensive-oriented center. 

Clint Capela would fit the mold as a primary rim protector who would still provide rim running and paint points on the offensive end. More importantly, the Pelicans would acquire Dejounte Murray, who would likely be a cheaper player than Ingram, with his four-year $114 million contract set to kick in next season, and perhaps a better fit, providing more playmaking at the point guard position. 

Before heading to Atlanta and playing next to Young, Murray averaged nine assists in San Antonio, and he was considered one of the best passers in the league. Imagine he got similar usage in New Orleans but with Zion Williamson to pass to.

Of course, McCollum would still be there, and similar to Young, he lacks size, making for a rather small backcourt between him and Murray. This could cause problems defensively but on offense, it would be a much better fit, as McCollum is not nearly as ball dominant as Young and would allow Murray to create his own offense more often than not. 

Overall, this trade wouldn't fix all of the Hawks' problems, but it would be a big step forward in an offseason that is clouded with doubt. For New Orleans, this trade would also provide a huge change on the court as well as more optionality for the front office.