2 unrealistic trades Pelicans must try to make in 2022 NBA offseason
The New Orleans Pelicans made a real splash at the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline, acquiring CJ McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers. That trade was enough for the Pelicans to make the playoffs, despite missing Zion Williamson for the entire season.
Despite falling to the Phoenix Suns in the first round, the Pelicans’ season can be labeled as a success. Still, they would like to contend for a championship. Williamson will be back next season, but that is likely not enough. Given their cap space, the Pelicans need to go for a trade. Here are two unrealistic trades the Pelicans must try to make in the 2022 NBA offseason.
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Unrealistic Pelicans Trade In 2022 NBA Offseason
Pelicans get Kevin Durant; Nets get Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes, 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029 first-round picks
Now, it might be counterintuitive for the Pelicans to give up so much for a player that is approaching the wrong side of 30. However, it is Kevin Durant and when KD is available, you open up your bag of assets and go all out. The Pelicans have been fortunate enough to hold multiple assets from many other teams around the league.
They also managed to keep their own first-rounders for an extended time, including keeping all but one first-rounder in the CJ McCollum deal from February. Due to this, the Pelicans are in a great spot to offer this great package to get Kevin Durant in. Let’s look at why this deal is great for both sides.
From the Nets’ side, they just get everything they could have desired, and more, from the Pelicans in this deal. Four first-rounders are the absolute minimum, as both Rudy Gobert and Dejounte Murray got that in packages sent for them. The likelihood is that the Nets would seek more, given the fact that Durant is miles ahead of both in trade value, but the addition of Ingram and Hayes covers for the lack of other future assets.
Ingram should keep the Nets a playoff team next year, while Hayes could be a one-year experiment since he has been up-and-down with his NBA career. If he can get his head straight and use his abundance of physical tools, Hayes could be a worthy asset for the Nets.
The Pelicans do this deal because this is KD and because they are instantly a championship contender. This is the ideal time for them to make this deal, as Williamson’s maximum extension does not kick in for a year. Of course, they would have to pay luxury tax down the line, but they would have the core of Durant-McCollum-Williamson locked in for at least two more years, which is the length of CJ McCollum’s current deal.
With this big three and some solid pieces around them, the Pelicans could very well be favorites for the chip right away. Of course, there will be some questions, mostly around Zion’s health, but it should all go smoothly on the court. The Pelicans simply must look at this deal and try to make it happen.
Pelicans get Collin Sexton; Cavaliers get Garrett Temple, Devonte’ Graham
This deal is a bit less bombastic than any deal for Kevin Durant would be, but it fills an important hole the Pelicans currently have in their roster. They have their big three, but none of them are really point guards. Of course, Zion Williamson can bring the ball over and can distribute, but his primary concern should be scoring and rebounding the ball. Ingram and McCollum can create a shot for themselves, but creating for others might be a bit tougher. Thus, getting Sexton would work here. Let’s look at why both teams would accept this deal.
The Cavs might accept this deal from the Pelicans when they realize that it would be difficult to incorporate both Sexton and Garland, especially with the return of Ricky Rubio, who also signed a deal with the Cavaliers. Of course, Garland and Sexton did work together in a way, but it is clear that Garland is valued way more in Ohio than his free agent teammate.
Now, it is important to mention that Sexton is a free agent, and it would only work as a sign-and-trade, with Sexton signing for around $18 million annually, which will likely end up as his deal. For that price, the Cavs would get two veteran guards that could be of great help in their postseason battle which is coming up this season.
For the Pelicans, Sexton fills that point guard hole like no other player that could be available. If Malcolm Brogdon was not traded to the Celtics a few days back, it would be a different story, but Sexton is likely the best point guard available right now. It would cost them two valuable veteran pieces, but in the end, it does not matter, as they would be getting a great young player.
The Pelicans would require Sexton to be more of a facilitator than a scorer, but even if he is not as good as a playmaker, his defense alone will make this deal work. It is a no-brainer, especially if there are no picks involved, for the Pelicans to make this deal.