Things could be going better for the New Orleans Pelicans this season. The team entered this season with expectations of being a young, high-flying team under new coach Stan Van Gundy, but so far, New Orleans is 5-10 and are narrowly above the Minnesota Timberwolves for the worst record in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans are a team with a particularly bright future, though, so even if this year isn’t superb, there’s reason to believe better days are on the horizon. New Orleans has been really savvy about building up a war chest of draft picks and surrounding Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson with interesting players. Their wheeling and dealing has seemed to be built with maximizing those two in line, and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, they’re willing to take calls on two other notable players in an attempt to continue building.
Charania reports that teams have made calls to the Pelicans about starting guard Lonzo Ball and veteran marksman J.J. Redick, and the team is willing to listen.
A team that is expected to be prominent in the trade market picture, rival teams expect: The New Orleans Pelicans. The franchise is off to an uneven 5-10 start to the season. New Orleans has been receiving calls about the availability of Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick and has shown an openness to discussing trades around both with interested teams, sources tell The Athletic. A move would create a clearer pathway for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis in the Pelicans’ rotation.
For the Pelicans, the future core is centered around Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, and although there have been hurdles along the way the franchise has remained committed to continuing to develop an identity around both cornerstones.
Both Ball and Redick are free agents at the conclusion of this season, with Ball slated for restricted free agency and Redick becoming an unrestricted free agent. They’re appealing for different reasons — Ball is still only 23 and can impact a game in a number of ways, and while Redick has struggled from deep this year, he’s still a highly-regarded marksman who can help provide floor spacing if he’s able to get back on track. Charania also notes that there have been preliminary discussions between the Warriors and Pelicans regarding a Kelly Oubre Jr. trade, but that nothing has gotten serious. Plenty of teams figure to have interest in both players and as the trade deadline approaches, expect rumors to pick up in a major way, particularly if the Pelicans remain well down the West standings.