The New Orleans Pelicans were hoping that the 2022-23 season would be the campaign where everything comes together for them. And so far, that has been the case for them. The Pelicans have jumped out to a 10-7 record in the early going, and appear to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference so far.

New Orleans has put together their star trio by adding Zion Williamson back to the court alongside Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, and the initial results have been very encouraging. Add a solid rotation to the picture, and it’s easy to see why the Pelicans are optimistic for their chances to make some real noise this season.

The Pelicans are in a good spot, but every team in the league could use some help somewhere on their roster, and the Pels are no exception. The trade market is a great spot to make some upgrades, and rumors have been swirling all season long about players who could get moved. So let’s take a look at who the most realistic trade target is for the Pelicans is through one month of the season and see why they could help New Orleans out in a big way this season.

Pelicans realistic trade target: Bojan Bogdanovic

The Pelicans were rumored to be interested in Bojan Bogdanovic this offseason when the Utah Jazz were conducting their firesale. Bogdanovic was dealt to the Detroit Pistons instead, though, and promptly signed a two-year, $39.1 million extension at the end of October. For that reason, it would seem like the Pistons aren’t really considering trading Bogdanovic this season.

The opposite appears to be true, though. The Pistons and their star guard Cade Cunningham are mulling a potential season-ending surgery for a shin injury he’s dealing with, and if he does end up being ruled out for the rest of the season, there’s a good chance Detroit will end up moving some of their veteran pieces in an effort to speed up their rebuild. One of those veterans just so happens to be Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic has become a popular trade target in the early going this season, and for good reason. Bogdanovic is an extremely effective scoring wing who is a lethal three-point shooter, while also being able to get to the paint for good looks as well. The Pelicans are looking for secondary scoring behind their star trio, and Bogdanovic could be the perfect fit.

New Orleans has a spot in their starting five with Bogdanovic’s name on it. Pretty much everyone aside from Herbert Jones is locked into their starting role, and while Jones is developing into a strong two-way player, he may be better utilized off the bench. Many of Jones’ numbers are nearly identical to last season’s but his shooting has taken a pretty big step back, and he’s hitting just 25.8 percent of his threes so far this season.

While the Pelicans have gotten strong play from Trey Walker III behind Jones, they could probably benefit from giving Naji Marshall less minutes off the bench. Marshall hasn’t been bad, but it’s clear adding a guy like Bogdanovic would help this team out a lot more if they intend on winning this season.

Jones has meshed well with the starters this season, so there’s a chance that the Pelicans could opt to bring Bogdanovic off the bench as their sixth man, but given how good Bogdanovic has looked early this season on a fairly desolate Pistons team, that just doesn’t seem like the right call. New Orleans could technically target a more bench-minded player, but there’s no sense avoiding Bogdanovic since he would obviously make this team better.

Bogdanovic isn’t the strongest defender, but having Jones around helps ease that concern for the most part. Plus, if Bogdanovic can come in and average somewhere between like 15-20 as he’s done throughout his career while hitting over 40 percent of his threes, it really wouldn’t matter what he did on defense at this point.

New Orleans has a lot of talent on their roster, but in order to truly contend for a title this season, it feels like they will need to add at least one or two more players to their rotation to help out. Or, they could swing a deal for Bogdanovic and kill two birds with one stone.

Bogdanovic is a skilled offensive player who would open things up even more for an already dynamic Pelicans offense, and he could be just what this team needs to emerge as a frontrunner to win what is currently a wide open Western Conference. If the opportunity comes across the Pelicans’ desk, they would be wise to do what they can to pick up Bogdanovic.