The Pelicans are seeking trades that will improve the team in the short term, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in his latest Insider-only “Tank Rank” piece. New Orleans (22-28) has the 11th-worst record in the league, as our Reverse Standings show, and Ford speculates that the team has given up hope of landing a top-five draft choice this year, which the Pelicans would need to do to keep the pick from going to the Sixers.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted last week that the Pelicans were “extremely active” in trade talks, while Steve Kyler wrote that New Orleans is open to trading Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. USA Today’s Sam Amick seconded that report on the Gordon front. Coach Monty Williams didn’t play a healthy Evans in last night’s game against the Nets, but Ford’s report makes it seem unlikely Evans or any of the team’s other cornerstones will be moved between now and next week’s trade deadline.
It appeared late last month that the Pelicans were seeking a big man via trade, and that was before the club announced that center Jason Smith will miss the rest of the season. Ryan Anderson is likely out for the year, too, accentuating the need to get help on the inside for All-Star Anthony Davis.