The New Orleans Pelicans are in the market for a center — after reported inquiries of Philadelphia 76ers big man Jahlil Okafor, the Brooklyn Nets were next on the call list, as the Pelicans are looking into acquiring Brook Lopez, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
The Pelicans currently have two hybrid forward/centers in Anthony Davis and Donatas Motiejunas, along with center Omer Asik, but aside from Davis, neither of the other two are reliable centers. According to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans are looking to unload Asik in the trade as well as obtaining a 2018 first-round pick in the process, given the top-loaded 2017 draft to come.
New Orleans is looking for a center that can not only score, but also take away some defensive responsibilities from the 253-pound Davis, who is often tasked with taking the biggest man on the floor, as the team’s best all-around defender.
The defensive grind has shown, as Davis has been forced to miss games due to injury this season and if he keeps playing at this pace, it could endanger his longevity on the court.
The Nets on the other hand, have been actively shopping Lopez and shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic, testing the interest from teams around the league. While Brooklyn is indeed looking for the right partner, they in no way intend to rush a deal before the Feb. 23 trade deadline, but will rather listen for the right situation to come along.