Amid a rough start to the 2020-21 NBA season, the Pelicans may be looking to make some roster changes.
New Orleans has received calls about the availability of guards Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick ahead of the March 25 trade deadline, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who reports that the Pelicans have “shown an openness” to discussing deals with interested suitors. The Pels and Warriors have talked about a potential trade involving Kelly Oubre Jr., per Charania, but the two sides haven’t made serious progress on that front.
It’s unclear if Ball and Redick were part of those conversations.
Ball has struggled this season, posting 12.0 points per game while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from 3-point range. His assist and rebounding numbers have dropped below his career averages as well, so his trade value isn’t exactly at an all-time high. Still, one team told SNY’s Ian Begley that New Orleans won’t move Ball without receiving a “significant return.”
Redick has also been in a shooting slump (33.3 percent from the field, 30.0 percent on 3-pointers), but he is an established sniper. Any contender would be happy to add that kind of quality perimeter threat to its rotation.
If the Pelicans continue to slide down the standings — they are 5-10 overall and have lost eight of their last nine games — they could shift into sell mode and search for pieces that work around franchise cornerstones Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. New Orleans should be aggressive in its pursuit of deals for Ball and Redick in that case, considering they are both set to become free agents this offseason (Ball restricted, Redick unrestricted).
It’s certainly possible the Pels keep one or both players, but at this point, it seems more likely they try to maximize their value rather than risk losing them for nothing. A trade could also be just what those guys need to break out of their current funks.