Pelicans Seeking Center, Dangling 2018 Pick

The Pelicans were at the center of an interesting trade rumor on Monday night, having been linked to the Sixers in a possible Jahlil Okafor deal. However, those Okafor discussions weren’t the only talks New Orleans has engaged in recently, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. According to Wojnarowski (all Twitter links), the Pelicans have been active on various fronts in their efforts to add a center, dangling multiple assets, including their 2018 first-round pick.

In addition to the Okafor discussions, New Orleans’ search for a center has resulted in a pursuit of Nets big man Brook Lopez, according to Wojnarowski, who reports that the Pelicans have been exploring larger deals in the hopes of unloading Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca. Asik and Ajinca, who will earn a combined $15.56MM next season, are under contract for multiple years and aren’t a part of the team’s rotation.

The Pelicans still own their 2017 first-round pick, but the team is reluctant to move that selection. This year’s draft class is expected to be one of the deepest and most talented in the last decade, and New Orleans is on track to have a lottery pick — our reverse standings show that the Pelicans are currently tied with the Kings for the NBA’s seventh-worst record.

While the Sixers are said to have some interest in a deal with the Pelicans, it’s not clear if a reported offer of Ajinca and New Orleans’ 2018 first-rounder will be enough for Philadelphia. Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that the protection on the 2018 pick is a sticking point for the Sixers, who may be looking for more value anyway. Meanwhile, various reports have suggested that Philadelphia would like to find a way to include Jrue Holiday in any deal.

As for the Nets and Lopez, multiple outlets have reported in recent weeks that Brooklyn wants to secure two first-round picks in any deal for its standout center. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wrote this morning that Brooklyn is seeking a 2017 lottery pick – plus an additional first-rounder – in any package for Lopez, so the Nets would presumably be interested if the Pelicans wanted to discuss this year’s pick.

I’d be surprised if New Orleans is willing to meet the Nets’ asking price, and it remains to be seen what sort of deal the Sixers would accept. Still, the Pelicans are actively scouring the trade market, and appear to be a good bet to make a deal in the coming weeks.

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8 thoughts on “Pelicans Seeking Center, Dangling 2018 Pick

  1. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    dangling multiple assets, including their 2018 first-round pick.

    Well, the Pelicans could get healthy real quick and have a similar year like the Dallas Cowboys did in 16-17 in football.

    So, that 2018 could be kind of worthless.

    As for the Sixers, they need to get something good, otherwise don’t do anything at all.

  2. Danthemilwfan

    How many centers before they realize Davis is a center

  3. smittybanton

    Sixers (or any team for that matter) should get NO’s 2018 draft pick just for taking Omer Asik’s contract $9M this year (prorated), and $10.5M (’17-18), and $11M (’18-19), and $3M (’19-20 buyout). That’s 30+M for someone not in the rotation.

    Sixers got OKC15(x18), which turned into OKC16(#24), for taking on Javale McGee $12M at the deadline and $12M the following year.

    Sixers got Nik Stauskas, two years of swap rights, and SAC19, for taking on Carl Landry and Jason Thompson’s $13M at the deadline and $13M the following year.

    Even if you include Stauskas as part of the dump (instead of compensation for the dump), the Sixers got two years of swap rights and an unprotected first round pick for saving the Kings $32M.

    New Orleans is buggin’ out if they think they’re getting Okafor (or any big man) and $30M cap relief for a 2018 pick that will likely be in the teens once they re-sign Jrue, put jah in the middle, and use their 2018 pick.

  4. marc corbo

    New Orleans is gonna blow a big one I think if they don’t give Jrue back to Philly. And Brook Lopez should be no where near as valuable as Okafor. He’s older, no where close to the scorer Jahlil is right now, and they’re about even on boards and defense, with Okafor likely to pass Lopez in both categories soon. On top of that the sixers don’t really have need with another top draft pick they have 2 potential top 5 picks this year and at the very least 1 top 5 and 1 top 10. If I were the Sixers i’d want Jrue first or no deal and they’re 2018 pick. Getting Jrue would take out the need to getting it protected and they would be taking on that Asik contract with having to take on Embiid max contract after next year and someone who might not even be sitting on they’re 12 man bench, in fact he wouldn’t if you look at they’re bench. Taking out the possibility of signing a top free agent or trading for one with draft assets. New Orleans do yourself a big favor and keep your 2017 pick trade Jrue and your 18 pick protected, and get rid of that contract. While getting back a perennial scorer pretty much guaranteed All-Star and young Okafor, take your pick at a pretty valuable player in Stauskas or Covington maybe the sixers would even give you Henderson with Stauskas obviously not with Covington. But if not take the two value young players including Okafor. I can tell you although Stauskas hasn’t lived up to potential yet, he can, he has moments of not just a great 3 point shooter like a Reddick, but also showing tremendous explosiveness to the rim, at times great passing and youth. No telling what he turns into of he can put it all together, cause he had it. And if you choose Covington you have even before a great 3pt shooter a top defender and also a very capable scorer at the rim. It’s just a no decision for NO if they could get that. Both teams win, sixers clean log jam and get their Starting Point. And Pelicans get a great young scoring center to combine with the Brow phew, unreal front court. An unwanted contract and another capable young scorer. Come on there’s just not getting any better than that for NO. Not to mention you keep your probable lottery pick especially without Jrue, you move up the young Buddy to Point and your set. It’s actually a lucky chance for NO to really get the best value in that trade because of Sixers logjam at Center. Seriously why would the Sixers give up Okafor get top 10 protected 17 or 18 and swallow a contract for someone they won’t use besides injuries. Give me a break the Sixers have no want for such an offer without their Point Gaurd. P.S Sixers also could get a better PG in the lottery this year. Or even potentially start Simmons at the Point. NO is lucky to even have a chance at a deal like that. And if the Sixers don’t get Jrue they sure as heck ain’t taking that contract and they will not take the pick if it’s top 5 protected. And in return they get no other asset but Okafor. Which is still a great deal for NO. And the Sixers would do it just because they know they can pick up a Point in free agency, possibly Jrue… Or have the option to trade for one with a high pick and good player or simply draft one with one of their first round picks. Either one is OK for the Sixers actually, but the first deal is wayy better for NO. So balls in their Court to drop as far as I see. And the Sixers will get a first round pick for Okafor from someone. Either this season or off season.

  5. qatar

    Good luck getting a lottery pick for Lopez, Brooklyn. lolll


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