The Pelicans will be hard-pressed to improve their roster ahead of the trade deadline, especially since a case can be made that the team will keep DeMarcus Cousins close by with the intention of committing to him long-term, Bobby Marks of ESPN writes.
The club will face mounting pressure to appease Anthony Davis, their superstar center whose own free agency decision (in 2020) already looms. Unfortunately for general manager Dell Demps and the rest of the Pelicans’ front office, with so much money tied up between Davis, Cousins and Jrue Holiday they have little options for adding depth to the rest of the roster.
Marks suggests that the Pelicans could consider packaging a young player like Cheick Diallo with a second-round pick to net a rotation player like much-improved Nets guard Joe Harris but cautions the team against dealing first-rounders considering their long-term financial forecast.
There’s more from the Southwest Division today:
- It doesn’t appear that Mavs big man Nerlens Noel will be back in action before the trade deadline, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News tweets. The big man hasn’t had any specific setbacks but the initial early February projection may have been a bit too ambitious.
- Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni spoke up about Chris Paul‘s absence from the All-Star Game roster, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. D’Antoni has said that he weighs team record heavily when casting his own votes for the All-Star Game reserves. Houston sits second in the NBA with a 34-12 record but only James Harden was selected to participate in the event.
- The Grizzlies don’t have a great track record of identifying young talent but they’ve had success with Dillon Brooks and Wayne Selden this season. Chris Herrington of The Memphis Commercial Appeal suggests that it might be time to cut the organization some slack.