The news of a Kevin Durant trade request has set the NBA world on fire in a significant way. The collapse of what was expected to be a Nets dynasty was rapid and is sure to leave a sour taste in fans everywhere. Teams all around the NBA are scouring together their best offers in an attempt to add Durant. The former MVP is one of the most talented players ever to play the game of basketball let alone reach the trade market. While plenty of teams have been connected to the superstar, one franchise that has not been given enough attention is the New Orleans Pelicans.
The franchise is coming off a successful season in which they put themselves on the postseason map. With the focus shifting toward competing and still loaded with assets, the Pelicans should be considered a dark horse landing spot for the superstar.
Zion Williamson recently inked his rookie max contract to ensure his future with the franchise. While it has been disappointing how much time he has missed, there is still plenty of time for him to change this. The superstar talent still has enticing potential and is expected to be a full go this year. Signing this max contract also makes him ineligible to be included in any potential Durant trade.
There are still plenty of intriguing assets New Orleans possesses that could interest Brooklyn. Here is the perfect trade for the franchise to add Durant and fully focus on competing for a championship.
The perfect trade Pelicans must offer Nets for Kevin Durant
Pelicans Get: Kevin Durant
Nets Get: Brandon Ingram, Dyson Daniels, 2023 1st round pick, 2024 first-round pick (Bucks), 2025 first-round pick (Bucks)
While Pelicans fans are rightfully content with the current state of the team, it should not be forgotten that this is Kevin Durant we’re talking about. He is undeniably one of the most talented players to ever play the sport. Adding Durant to this youthful New Orleans roster immediately would elevate them to true contenders. While winning two games in the first round was a solid result last season, their sights must be set on more.
It has been reported that the Nets are in search of an All-Star caliber player and a haul of first-round picks. Brandon Ingram fits the description and is coming off of an excellent year. Ingram averaged 22.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists last season and served as the focal point of the Pelicans’ offense. He also plays a very similar style to Kevin Durant. This would make the swap a fairly easy fit for both teams.
Three first-round picks may seem like a lot, but the Pelicans are loaded with these assets. They have at least one additional first-round pick for all three years included in this trade. This means the team will not be without a first-round pick even after making the trade. Flipping the collection of picks is also the right decision based on the state of the franchise. The time for rebuilding is over and the Pelicans should be attempting to win now. Especially with the Pelicans set to pick later in the round, it is unlikely a rookie will be set to come in and make an impact. It typically takes a few years for the young player to find their stride and New Orleans should be in search of a player set to make a more immediate impact.
While Phoenix and Miami may be listed as his preferred destinations, the Pelicans have the best chance to make a strong offer. The Nets have no responsibility to trade him to these teams and could certainly be swayed by a better offer. The Nets have either traded or agreed to a pick swap for each of their first-round picks until 2029. Restocking their draft picks is almost certain to be a priority in a trade because of this. The Pelicans have an excellent chance to separate themselves with an offer because of their draft pick capital. New Orleans currently has two first-round picks in 2023, 2025, 2026, and 2027. They also have three first-round picks in 2024. With this collection and the intent to win now, the Pelicans can afford to package this type of deal.
Head Coach Willie Green and the rest of the Pelicans organization have done a terrific job righting the direction of the franchise. However, they should not get gun-shy about taking it to the next level. Adding Kevin Durant to their talented roster immediately would elevate them to a championship contender. The 33-year-old is still playing at an extremely high level and would be a seamless fit in Brandon Ingram’s role. It is rare this type of superstar talent becomes available and the Pelicans should do their best to capitalize.