New Orleans Pelicans named as a ‘team to watch’ to trade for 5x All-Star

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks
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Willie Green has helped the New Orleans Pelicans improve year by year since he was hired as head coach in 2021. At times, the Pels have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA, but they’re rarely at full strength.

Still, the Pelicans have a very strong foundation led by Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Herbert Jones, and Trey Murphy III. This is a team that has sky-high potential, but whether they can reach it may be another story.

But the Pelicans are also in a unique spot. They have the versatility to reduce salary by letting Jonas Valanciunas walk in free agency or by trading valuable pieces such as Ingram or McCollum. In addition to having players with strong trade value, the Pelicans also have all their own first-round picks through 2030, plus three other tradeable picks from the Lakers and Bucks.

This all to say, that if the Pelicans wanted to make a splashy move this offseason, they have the firepower to pull off a big trade, possibly even for a certain five-time All-Star.

Related: Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star expected to look for new team this summer

Donovan Mitchell linked to New Orleans Pelicans

Donovan Mitchell
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Mitchell is eligible to sign a max extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason, and all indications are that there’s mutual interest in reaching a deal. Yet, this is the NBA, where plans change overnight, especially if there’s an opportunity to join a stronger roster.

While there are expected to be several suitors getting in line to try trading for Mitchell, ESPN’s Zach Lowe says the New Orleans Pelicans are a “team to watch” if the five-time All-Star hits the trade block.

The Pelicans and Cavaliers could be prime trade partners, considering the Pelicans have a lot of intriguing young pieces and draft picks in their collection. The Cavs may not be eager to discuss a Mitchell trade, but unlike many others, the Pelicans actually have the assets to pull off a blockbuster of this magnitude.

Related: Insider expects Cleveland Cavaliers to trade Jarrett Allen; 5 ideal landing spots

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