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New Orleans still exploring Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic trade before deadline

Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still separately exploring trades for forwards Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. While the focus remains in trading Anthony Davis, the Pels are under no rush to move him and could well wait until the summer to hear a Boston Celtics offer, among other suitors before shipping him out of The Big Easy.

With Davis leaving, it makes little sense to leave support pieces like Randle and Mirotic in the roster while the team heads to a full-on rebuild.

Both Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic were brought on as cogs to put alongside Davis in efforts to help the front office’s campaign to convince their talisman to sign a long-term deal with the team. Now that Davis has informed them he is not willing to re-sign, the Pelicans will strip the roster down in hopes to make a run for a top-10 lottery pick while gaining future assets to start their rebuild.

Others like Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore and Solomon Hill are also in trade conversations in what looks to be a complete wholesale after the franchise put all the chips in a Davis campaign that has proved futile with the Pelicans now 23-31, mired in 13th place in the West.

With playoff contention out of the picture, expect the Pelicans to activate tank mode and sit some of these players if they fail to move them by the deadline.