New Orleans Pelicans insider highlights team’s next trade targets

New Orleans Pelicans
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Not long after the 2024 NBA Draft was completed, the New Orleans Pelicans made an aggressive move, acquiring All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks. NBA trade rumors involving Brandon Ingram have long lingered, but now that they’ve added another impact player, we could see the Pelicans make another significant addition to the roster.

But who? Well, with Jonas Valanciunas set for unrestricted free agency, the Pelicans’ biggest weakness is now filling the starting center position. Aside from plugging in first-round rookie Yves Missi, the Pelicans don’t have anyone else on the roster who’s taller than 6-foot-9, so the Pelicans are sure to add some size this summer, but again, who?

Recently, The Athletic’s William Guillory tackled that very topic, highlighting several potential offseason Pelicans trade targets. To no surprise, he focused on finding a starting center replacement for Valanciunas.

“Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen remains at the top of the candidate list. The Pelicans have shown interest in him for years, and keeping Darius Garland out of potential proposals should make it easier for both sides to find common ground. However, Cleveland may not be interested in giving Ingram the lucrative extension he’s seeking, according to league sources.”

William Guillory on New Orleans Pelicans trade targets

Other names he mentioned were Portland’s Deandre Ayton, who likely doesn’t have a long-term future with the Blazers after they selected Donovan Clingan with the seventh pick. Yet, he also noted a third team may be necessary to execute a trade, with the Blazers probably not interested in adding older pieces that aren’t on their competitive timeline, such as Ingram or CJ McCollum.

Other potential options could be working out a trade with Milwaukee for Brook Lopez and/or Bobby Portis with Doc Rivers looking to make changes to the Bucks’ roster. New York could also move on from Mitchell Robinson to help clear more salary.

Another possibility is targeting a young prospect, such as the rebounding wizard Jalen Duren from the Pistons, and having former Pelicans executive Trajan Langdon in Detroit could make a trade easier to accomplish. Utah’s Walker Kessler is even reportedly up for grabs.

With so many options available, the Pelicans shouldn’t have any trouble finding a solution this summer. The bigger question may be whether they target an older veteran who can lend way to Missi’s eventual takeover, or a bigger name, such as Jarrett Allen or Ayton to hold down the starting role for a few seasons first.

Related: 10 NBA free agency predictions for 2024 offseason

Mentioned in this article:

More About: