While it may be tempting to continue revamping their roster around cornerstone players Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans have now won six of eight games and no longer look like a team on the verge of a fire sale, writes Scott Kushner of NOLA.com.
“I said to guys when all that was going on that it’s natural,” Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy said. “You’re losing games so people are going to say, ‘Oh shoot, they’re going to blow it up.’ And the rumors are going to start. If we were winning then, like we have in the last seven, then the rumors go away. Because people will think you are happy with your team.”
Multiple reports in late January indicated that the Pelicans were exploring the possibility of moving Lonzo Ball, J.J. Redick, and/or Eric Bledsoe. Those rumors have died down as of late, though that doesn’t mean those players are off the trade block, as Kushner notes. This season’s trade deadline is still six weeks away, so there’s plenty of time for New Orleans to consider whether dealing one or more of those veteran guards makes sense.
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- The Pelicans have transferred two-way player Naji Marshall to the Erie BayHawks, the team announced today (via Twitter). Marshall will join fellow two-way player Will Magnay on New Orleans’ G League squad.
- A move from power forward to center and an adjustment to longer stretches of playing time have Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis enjoying his best run of the season recently, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News details.
- Following a seven-game winning streak, the Grizzlies have lost four straight, but there’s no reason to panic, according to Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who says the team simply needs to get healthier. With Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, De’Anthony Melton, and Justise Winslow out, Memphis is missing four of the top eight players in its ideal rotation, Giannotto adds.