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New Orleans Pelicans reportedly could target Toronto Raptors star ahead of trade deadline

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Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

With the New Orleans Pelicans growing into a legitimate contender in the Western Conference this season, the team could reportedly swing a blockbuster deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

Before star Zion Williamson went down with a hamstring injury earlier this month, the Pelicans were one of the hottest teams in the league. The roster had three All-Star-level talents in Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum, but staying healthy and building chemistry was their biggest hurdle. And over the first three months, they proved that the parts fit and were for real.

Despite the injury to their big man, the New Orleans Pelicans still own a 26-23 record and hold the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. Williamson will eventually return, and if he can overcome his injury demons, this team could give powerhouses like the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies a legitimate challenge in the postseason.

Also Read: Raptors reportedly unmoved by massive recent trade offer for star player

Nevertheless, the Pelicans could still use some upgrades to rise to the status of a serious title contender. One area they need to improve is on defense, where they are in the middle of the pack in the NBA. And it seems the organization is looking at one highly coveted talent in the Eastern Conference as a possible answer.

OG Anunoby on New Orleans Pelicans radar ahead of NBA trade deadline

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Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors are in the midst of a major down year. Despite a young and talented roster, the team is well under .500 and outside the playoff picture. It’s why many teams expect them to be sellers before Feb. 9, and defensive ace OG Anunoby is a player many teams around the league are interested in.

On Thursday, Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Jake Fischer reported that the Pelicans can be added to the sweepstakes for the fast-improving 25-year-old.

“I do think of all those guys, OG [Anunoby] is the one with the [sic] asking price that I think it’s possible they’ll get that met. … The Pelicans I think are certainly monitoring the OG Anunoby’s and the John Collins’ of the world. And they’ve got plenty of picks to do it. … There’s going to be a competitive market for him. Can he ultimately pull, like a Dejounte Murray-type return? I think that’s possible.”

– Report on Pelicans interest in OG Anunoby

Recent reports have stated the Raptors have had a high asking price for the players like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakim, Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. in potential trades. This summer, the Atlanta Hawks gave up three first-round picks for San Antonio Spurs star Dejounte Murray and would seem like a fair return for Anunoby.

However, earlier this week it was reported that Toronto passed on a recent three-pick offer for the six-year veteran. The New Orleans Pelicans have a massive horde of future first-round picks. Including two in 2023, three in 2024, and two each in the following three years that could surely help land whatever player they wanted.

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