Both the New Orleans and Los Angeles Clippers are waiting until next season, with the former failing to make the postseason while the latter went home thanks to Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns. The Pelicans dropped badly as the final weeks of the season went by because Zion Williamson only appeared in 29 games, and the pressure was mainly on former All-Star Brandon Ingram, who managed 24.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 5.8 APG this season. As great as Ingram was, the Pelicans struggled as they finished 9th in the Western Conference at 42-40 and could not make the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Clippers made the playoffs, but they ran into the juggernaut Phoenix Suns. Paul George missed the entire series, and Kawhi Leonard was not available to play following Game 2, ending the team’s chances of getting past the superteam Suns led by Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Quite frankly, the Clippers were undermanned even if Russell Westbrook returned to All-Star form by posting 23.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 7.4 APG in 38.4 MPG.
Looking ahead to next year, there are big questions about the Los Angeles Clippers and how they will attack the 2023-24 NBA season after yet another injury to Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is one of the most frustrating players in the NBA to follow because he just can’t keep healthy, which is why an esteemed NBA analyst called him the worst superstar in NBA history. There are also reports that Leonard could be looking for a new place to call home. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are getting frustrated with the lack of playoff appearances despite having big names such as Zion and Ingram. New Orleans’ GM also has seemingly had enough of Zion missing games and a leader of Leonard’s caliber coming in could get him back on track.
If nothing else, Kawhi Leonard could use a change of scenery, and a team that could pounce to snatch the two-time Finals MVP is the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster deal that would be shocking to see happen. Could the Pelicans possibly have enough trade assets to take a gamble on Kawhi Leonard?
Kawhi has not played at least 65 games since the 2016-17 season with the San Antonio Spurs, but he is still one of the best players in the world and when healthy, is easily a top-five competitor in the NBA. Here is the massive trade deal that will give the New Orleans Pelicans a massive superteam to compete for the Western Conference Finals next year, especially if Zion Williamson is healthy.
Trade Package: Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Jose Alvarado, 2023 First-Round Pick for Kawhi Leonard
Obviously, this trade makes the Clippers younger with three talented players that can defend and score along with a first-round pick. The team would have a new All-Star duo with George and Ingram headlining the future while the Pelicans bring in one of the greatest two-way stars of all time to pair with Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum. Here is why this deal works for both sides.