That included three young players who have shown some potential: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. With the Pelicans rebuilding, would team VP of basketball operations David Griffin consider trading them for more picks or other young players?
The offers came in, but nothing that excited the Pelicans so they stood pat, Griffin told Jeff Duncan of The Athletic.
There was interest but nothing that really spoke to us to any degree. From the very beginning we were excited about the potential of our group, but we certainly did have interest shown in them by many, many other teams in the NBA. We felt really fortunate that we were able to land the players we did, and it became really evident that we were fortunate because of the interest in them that was shown by several other teams basically immediately after the deal was announced. It was fascinating to go through the experience, but we didn’t acquire them to move them, so nothing was even close.
Those are three young players — Ball and Ingram are 21 years old, Hart 24 — who could be part of the future being built in New Orleans. The smart move is to get them out on the court and see how they fit with Zion Williamson and the rest of the young Pelicans. Ingram can be a shot creator for them in the halfcourt (if his game evolves to the next level). Ball is at his best in the open court and transition, and the Pelicans under Alvin Gentry play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA, he could thrive in the Big Easy.
If the fit isn’t quite right, the trade options will be there in February and next summer.
But for now, let’s see Lonzo throw some alley-oop lobs to Zion and have a little fun.