Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Gordon, Morey

While the pre-All-Star Game wave of speculation that DeMarcus Cousins could be headed to New Orleans appears to have subsided, the Pelicans are serious about acquiring an impact player. According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, Pels general manager Dell Demps and company have put together a “really nice package in search of a star.” The scribe goes on to add that his source admires the team’s aggressiveness.

Just 2.5 games out of the Western Conference’s eight-seed, the Pelicans are looking to support 23-year-old superstar Anthony Davis. Earlier this month it appeared as though the club was simply looking to add a center and were willing to dangle a 2018 first-round pick to get it. One name that surfaced as a possible fit was Sixers‘ sophomore Jahlil Okafor. While nothing transpired there, that doesn’t mean the club has stopped looking.

In fact, as we mentioned in the report on the rumored Cousins to New Orleans deal, ESPN’s Justin Verrier has linked the Pelicans to not only Cousins but to Pacers star Paul George as well.

All of the speculation amounts to little at this stage in the game but the wave of reports do indicate that the club is serious about making a move. If Amico’s source is to be trusted, they may well find a partner before the February 23 trade deadline.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • One of the names linked to the Pelicans this month has been Jahlil Okafor, but the Sixers big man doesn’t take it to heart. “I’ve said it before I’ll worry about what I can control and the rumors are going to continue to come out. And as far as I know I’m still a Sixer and I’m happy to be a Sixer,” Okafor tells Amos Morale III of the Times-Picayune.
  • Before winning the 2017 Three-Point Contest, Rockets guard Eric Gordon spoke about his time in New Orleans, referring to the Pelicans franchise as “dysfunctional”. “My role changed a lot,” he told Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune. “If I would have had the same freedom that I had (in Houston), it would have been a different result. It’s always been a little dysfunctional, not just for me… everybody.”
  • Daryl Morey and the Rockets are content with their roster, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, and have no desire to make a drastic move at the deadline. They would, however, be open to adding to their bench.

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