Two Trade Proposals That Could Land The Pelicans Cam Reddish or Buddy Hield

The Athletic

The Pelicans may have just completed the most brutal four-game stretch any team will go through the rest of the season.

They started the new year with a 136-113 loss on the road against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, followed by three homes games in four days against Utah, Phoenix and Golden State.

The Pelicans lucked out at the end of that gruesome stretch by catching the Warriors on a night when Stephen Curry and Draymond Green were both resting. New Orleans capitalized on that and pulled off a 101-96 win Thursday night, which prevented it from going 0-4 against arguably the four best teams in the league.

Despite their rough start to 2022, the Pelicans (14-25) are still alive in the highly competitive race for the Play-In Tournament. After Friday night’s games, they’re only 1.5 games behind the 10th-seeded San Antonio Spurs, and New Orleans’ second-half schedule is one of the easier slates among Western Conference teams.

“We feel good. Those were some tough teams, some high-level, championship-contending teams. I thought we handled it about as well as we could,” coach Willie Green said. “I just think we have a resilient group of guys. No matter what we go through, they stay pretty consistent.”

Even if New Orleans likes where it stands after starting the year 3-16, its roster still needs some obvious upgrades to make a postseason run more realistic. Here are a few ideas the Pelicans front office could pursue ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline:

 

Hawks SF Cam Reddish for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Naji Marshall and the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick

Reddish is one of the more intriguing young players who will probably be on the trade market this year, and I’ve been saying for a while the Pelicans should be aggressive in pursuing the 22-year-old.

He’s got a ton of untapped potential on both ends of the floor that he hasn’t often displayed because of sporadic playing time and Atlanta’s Trae Young-centric style of offense. With extensions for Young and Kevin Huerter kicking in next year, the Hawks probably won’t have much interest in re-signing Reddish to what’s become a very expensive roster.

If he does become available, he’d be exactly what New Orleans needs on the perimeter as a floor spacer, a scorer in the pick-and-roll and a versatile defender.

The biggest concern is he’ll undoubtedly be looking for a lucrative extension during the summer. Would New Orleans be willing to surrender future flexibility to lock down Reddish with their current core?

With his skill set and the obvious fit next to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, I think the Pels would be wise to invest in a player with his kind of talent. On the other hand, I also can understand why they might be hesitant. He’s still got a lot to prove.

In the end, the Hawks would most likely look for a deal that gives them more than this package, and frankly, I’m not sure the Pelicans would be in such a rush to give up that 2024 Lakers pick (which could be deferred to 2025). But jumping at an opportunity like this would make more sense than holding out hope that a bigger name will come to New Orleans in free agency.

#basketball

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