The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly open to moving Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe and JJ Redick ahead of the NBA trade deadline later this month. They have plenty of names to watch at the forefront of upcoming NBA trade rumors.
The Pelicans have been reluctant to reach a rookie-extension agreement with Ball, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, and could package him in a trade with the other assets for a quality return.
“New Orleans appears willing to wait and assess before committing to any player’s long-term status alongside Williamson, and that is also why Ball’s name, in particular, has been widely discussed in preliminary trade conversations this winter,” Fischer wrote. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a team New Orleans hasn’t phoned to gauge interest in Ball, JJ Redick and Eric Bledsoe. ‘They’ve been calling, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire,’ said one assistant general manager.”
An unsurprising development to say the least. Ball, Redick and Bledsoe would bolster virtually any roster in the NBA, especially those that are in the market for guards. Finding potential suitors shouldn’t be an issue. Ball, who’s been somewhat of journeyman thus far in his career, has age on his side and has quietly had a great season. As for Redick and Bledsoe, they provide a robust veteran presence to a young roster.
The Pelicans currently sit five games below .500 with their 14-19 record (11th in the Western Conference), so a few moves would make all the more sense going forward. The Pelicans haven’t reached the playoffs since the 2017-18 campaign.
It’s becoming clear that the Pelicans have a plan in mind that revolves around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. They signed Ingram to a max contract extension last November, after he became the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2020, and he’s continuing to play at an elite level as his career progresses.
New Orleans could be looking for a third star to join the cornerstone pieces of the franchise, to better compete with the top-heavy trend of the league. And while they certainly have enough value to make that a reality, it will likely come down to the organization’s ability to wheel and deal before March 25.