The New Orleans Pelicans, among many other teams, have found themselves briefly linked to Kevin Durant after he asked the Brooklyn Nets for a trade. However, it appears to be unlikely they will actually pull the trigger and go after KD because of a few different reasons.
The Pelicans have assets to get Durant, but multiple NBA executives don’t think a small market team like New Orleans would make a strong push for Durant since they have two young All-Stars in Zion Williamson signed to an extension and Brandon Ingram signed through the next three seasons. Other rival executives believe Durant wouldn’t want to be traded to New Orleans.
This makes total sense. The Pelicans are building a good thing in the Big Easy and after taking the Phoenix Suns to six games in the playoffs last season without Zion Williamson, the future is evidently bright. CJ McCollum also made a big difference after his arrival at the trade deadline and if Zion can come back and average 25+ per night as he did before injury, this is a playoff team in the West.
It’s also not surprising that Durant isn’t interested in playing for the Pelicans. After all, he’s typically played for teams in big markets like Golden State and Brooklyn, with the exception of the Thunder. But, he did make them a more well-known organization alongside Russell Westbrook and James Harden back in the day.
New Orleans would be smart to not give up their young assets because this core right now is very promising. Trey Murphy and Herb Jones are dogs defensively, Jose Alvarado is a sparkplug, and they have another solid rookie coming in, first-round pick Dyson Daniels. Plus, the Pelicans aren’t even mentioned as a desired landing spot for Kevin Durant. It’s probably out of the question.