Before the Jazz agreed to trade Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Lakers as part of a three-team deal last month, the Pelicans came close to acquiring the duo from Utah, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on The Lowe Post podcast this week (YouTube link).
“The Pelicans were close to getting Beasley and Vanderbilt from Utah at the trade deadline, or close-ish,” Lowe told ESPN colleague Kevin Pelton. “They had a pretty good offer on the table. It was a draft equity-based offer with a pick that maybe was not as good as the Lakers pick that they ended up trading, but pretty close, I think, from what I’ve heard.
“But one of the issues was – maybe the picks weren’t exactly equivalent – but then another issue was (Mike) Conley and the Jazz’s determination to get off of Conley (who is owed at least $14MM in 2023/24), and could the Pelicans figure that out somehow? And it became a little complicated.”
The trade that the Jazz eventually completed also included the Timberwolves, who acquired Conley and flipped D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers. Los Angeles, in turn, send a top-four protected 2027 first-round pick to Utah as part of the three-way agreement.
The Pelicans still possess all of their own future first-rounders and control a couple others, including the Lakers’ unprotected 2024 pick (which could be deferred to 2025) and the Bucks’ unprotected 2027 selection.
It’s not clear which of those first-rounders they offered to the Jazz, but based on Lowe’s comments, it’s possible the Pelicans wanted to protect the pick they were offering more heavily than the Lakers protected theirs. Or Utah may have simply liked the upside of the ’27 Lakers first-rounder more than any single pick New Orleans was willing to put on the table.
It’s also worth noting that matching salaries for Beasley and Vanderbilt (who earn a combined $20MM) using only expiring or pseudo-expiring contracts would have been nearly impossible for the Pelicans, whose prime salary-matching piece at the deadline was Devonte’ Graham ($11.55MM).
Adding either Jaxson Hayes ($6.8MM) or Garrett Temple ($5.2MM) to Graham would have been sufficient outgoing salary, but Utah likely wouldn’t have been eager to take on Graham’s guaranteed $12.1MM cap charge for 2023/24, especially without Conley involved in the swap. So the Pelicans may have offered additional draft compensation beyond a single first-rounder if Graham was part of the package.
In any case, the Jazz ultimately decided to deal with two other teams in the Western Conference playoff race rather than the Pelicans. That presumably increased the sting of missing out on Beasley and Vanderbilt for New Orleans, as Lowe and Pelton point out.
At the trade deadline, the Pelicans were in a virtual tie in the standings with the Wolves and were 3.5 games up on the Lakers. The slumping Pels – who ended up trading Graham and four second-round picks to San Antnio for Josh Richardson – now trail both teams.
9 thoughts on “Pelicans Reportedly Came Close To Acquiring Beasley, Vanderbilt”
Westbrook trade makes both Lakers and Clippers title ready
No deal in the nba history has made two teams title ready?
As a result, both teams are the deepest in the nba and they already have 4 superstars
Whatever ur smoking I’ll take two please!
You really are something
No team with Westbrook in a prominent role will ever win a title. Lakers could but only if LeBron is healthy.
No team is winning a title as an 8th seed.
I’m a clippers fan! They probably where not winning the west pre Russ but now that they signed Russ they most definitely aren’t winning the west
So what does this really tell us? Pelicans weren’t willing to be as aggressive as LA at the deadline…maybe? There are so many unknowns here it’s hard to evaluate.
I’m sure there are lots of “almost” trades. Is there a story here that I’m missing?
Nothing complicated, Jazz didn’t want to pay Conley next year
Lotta luck went Rob’s way in that deal by being able to find Dlo a home- He essentially netted 3 players so Danny could save a dime and Minnesota could scratch an itch (or get rid of one ;) ) . Better to be lucky than good sometimes
*Cruising the Wizards ledger it was easy to spot Rui was going to be shopped for multiple 2nds- I give Rob props here striking early. I think he has progression left in his game but again that was circumstance based not a master stroke by Pelinka