The New Orleans Pelicans had a strange offseason that was difficult to assess.
This is why we are seeing a fierce debate as to whether the Pelicans have improved this offseason and I think you can argue for one or the other, although I think they will be better.
But they’re definitely not a title contender and could use another player or two if they want to have the quality depth they’ll need to qualify for the super-competitive Western Conference Playoffs.
The Pelicans still have a big trade exception, a ton of draft assets and good young players with friendly contacts, so they’re in the perfect position to strike a deal.
So why didn’t they do it?
New Orleans Pelicans: Why weren’t the Pels involved in the three-way deal between Bulls, Cavaliers and Trail Blazers?
Just when we thought the NBA offseason was calming down, Wojnarowski dropped one of his trademark bombs on Twitter:
First of all, it makes David Griffin’s paltry return for Lonzo Ball even worse, as the Bulls were able to get a lot more for Markkanen, who is in the same level of talent as Lonzo and had even more influence on a team. who clearly didn’t want him.
The Pelicans were said to have been interested in Markkanen, but clearly hesitated at the price the Bulls asked for. The Cavaliers took a bite and ended up signing Markkanen to a big contract. If the Pelicans didn’t want to go that high I can understand, but what I don’t understand is why they weren’t trying to participate in the Portland part of the deal.
Larry Nance Jr. is a good player who would have been perfectly suited for the Pelicans, especially since they are light in power behind. Zion Williamson.
Nance is a high IQ defenseman who could have helped improve the Pels’ dismal defense and is under contract with a team that lasts for two more seasons.
He is also the best friend of Josh Hart, so the fit is definitely there and all it cost the Trail Blazers was an average young player and a protected first-round pick, a cost the Pelicans certainly could have paid.
Could Didi Louzada and a first have landed Nance Jr.? Maybe, maybe not, but it was totally worth it.
Nance Jr. offers the kind of quality veteran depth that the New Orleans Pelicans don’t currently have, and given that it wouldn’t have been expensive to acquire, I have to wonder how the Pels weren’t involved in this trade.