The New Orleans Pelicans look abysmal through their first 15 games of the season. The communication has been awful and teams are having their way with them on the offensive end. As the two stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram continue to improve, the front office must surround the two with key contributors who will come in and make a difference. With Stan Van Gundy now the head coach, it is a must that the Pelicans become a playoff team soon.
Many can say that it is understandable why the Pelicans are not playing at the level they should be. The team is very young, to say the least. The only two veterans on the roster are JJ Redick and Eric Bledsoe. Although these two have done an exceptional job at guiding the younger players this season, there is still something missing on this New Orleans roster that is holding them back from winning.
The Pelicans are ranked No. 19 in defense this season. They are allowing teams to shoot 45% from the floor and there has been minimal communication on that end of the floor. This is certainly the kind of effort that Coach Van Gundy is not pleased with. There must be a change in the rotation for more effort to stop the ball on that end.
As the Pelicans sit at 5-10 on the season, there could be a chance that things turn around through the rest to the season. But if not, the roster will need to be shaken up a bit. The team is full of young talent and should not be held back for years to come. Playing in a tough western conference, it is important that they make a statement to other teams and understating they can compete with others. Let’s look into three trade scenarios that can benefit the Pelicans.
Trade Lonzo Ball
There seems to still be high optimism for Lonzo Ball to unleash his full potential. It hasn’t been the best of times for Ball through his first three seasons in the NBA. So far this season, Lonzo still lacks assertiveness as an athletic point guard. It seems as if he is lacking confidence on the floor, which is terrible for a starting floor general on an NBA team. As Nickeil Alexander-Walker continues to emerge, Lonzo will watch his minutes dwindle if he does not show improvements, which can eventually be used as a reason for the Pelicans to unload him via a trade.
Trade Eric Bledsoe
I know Ipraised Bledsoe earlier with his veteran leadership. But I do not believe that he continues on with New Orleans in the near future. Like Lonzo, Bledsoe is an athletic point guard who can put on a show with his individual play. But a problem for New Orleans this season has been spacing. There are not enough players on the roster who can be a perimeter threat on the floor. Bledsoe is one of the problems for the team’s lack of perimeter offense. He is a career 33.9% 3-point shooter and has never been a legitimate outside weapon, though he’s been better this season. While Bledsoe has been a great leader thus far, New Orleans would be better if it has another more consistent shooter around Zion Williamson.
Trade for another wing
Just imagine a legitimate third-leading scorer at the shooting guard position alongside Brandon Ingram. A three-level scorer alongside Ingram could really benefit the Pelicans’ going forward. Although JJ Redick has been the only perimeter scorer for New Orleans, Redick is at the age where he can impact the game coming off the bench. Another elite scorer to play alongside Zion and Ingram to form a Big Three can take the team up another level. A young wing player like Zach Lavine, Tyler Herro, or others could help elevate the Pelicans with their offensive talents.
It’s not too late to give up on the Pelicans yet. They are still a team that is figuring things out. Certainly, Stan Van Gundy will look to make the necessary adjustments needed. It looks like a disaster right now, but once the front office makes some adjustments, the Pelicans might be able to turn things around this season.
Both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are two of the brightest young talents in the league. The two have been so dominant this season, analysts have given them recognition as one of the best young duos in the NBA. The future is now for them and they expect excellence out of one another and their teammates. Within the next few years, the Pelicans will be lead by both Williamson and Ingram as a contending team in the Western Conference.