The New Orleans Pelicans are in a peculiar situation. Ever since trading franchise point guard, Chris Paul, to the Los Angeles Clippers back in 2011, with the exception of the 2015 season, the Pelicans have been in the lottery every year since.
Starting the 2016-17 season, the Pelicans were one of the worst teams in the NBA. After a midseason jolt, the Pelicans managed to push themselves into the eighth seed contention. The team was still not ready to be competing at a high level by any means, but when unexpectedly completing a trade to bring DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans on short notice, the Pelicans were forced to make a push to win immediately.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 20, 2017
What seemed to be a very lopsided trade at the time has taken a turn for the worst in New Orleans. With the abundance of terrible, long-term contracts on the books along with a need to win right away, the Pelicans have dug themselves into a deep hole with no clear strategy to get out.
The Pelicans were forced to re-sign Jrue Holiday to whatever deal his heart desired. Doing so has put New Orleans on the verge of the luxury tax. The drop-off of talent following Jrue Holiday is a huge concern.
Free agent guard Jrue Holiday has reached agreement on 5-year, $126M deal to stay with New Orleans, agent Jason Glushon tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2017
With New Orleans’ lack of perimeter defending and shooting, along with San Antonio’s willingness to move Danny Green, the Pelicans should be the first ones on the phone. Green is one of the best three-and-D wings in the NBA. His versatility on defense and knock-down three point shooting ability fills the exact need for the Pelicans.
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) June 21, 2017
New Orleans currently owns all of their draft picks going forward. Since San Antonio always loves acquiring draft picks, they could likely work out a deal.
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Solomon Hill, 2018 First Round Pick (Top 10 Protected)
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Danny Green
The Pelicans would shed two million in salary and would finally receive the productive three-and-D wing they’ve been searching for. San Antonio would take on a bit more salary than before, but would assumably see the draft pick as enough to agree to a deal. The pick would likely fall outside the lottery and given San Antonio’s history of drafting, they might be able to draft another really productive player.