This trade deadline may be slow with more buyers than sellers — the tight middle of both conferences and the fact the 10 seed makes the play-in games has created more demand for players that can help teams than supply of available veterans. It’s a sellers’ market.
The Pelicans look to be sellers, which has been reported before and now has been echoed by Jake Fischer at Bleacher Report. J.J. Redick has been mentioned before as a trade target — he reportedly wants to be traded back to the northeast to be close to family — as has Lonzo Ball, but Fischer also mentions Eric Bledsoe.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a team New Orleans hasn’t phoned to gauge interest in Ball, JJ Redick and Eric Bledsoe. “They’ve been calling, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” said one assistant general manager.
Ball’s improved play of late — he had 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting, plus eight assists and seven rebounds in New Orlean’s win over Utah Monday — has the Pelicans expecting more in return for him than teams are willing to give up for a potential rental (Ball is a restricted free agent this offseason).
With 23 days until the deadline, New Orleans is keeping its asking price high for a Redick or Bledsoe trade. The Pelicans want picks and players who can match up with franchise cornerstone Zion Williamson‘s timeline.
A belief also exists among other front offices that New Orleans’ mega trades of Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday have perhaps warped the Pelicans’ perspective of the market. “You’re not getting multiple picks and swaps for Redick or Bledsoe right now,” said the Western Conference exec.
“They’re going to have to lower the asking price,” added the rival team scout.
That generally happens as the deadline gets closer. However, the point that Bledsoe and Redick would have a limited role on a playoff or contending team is not lost — the Pelicans are not getting a lot of value back in those trades.
There may not be many moves at the deadline this season, but there will be some. There are a few sellers — Cleveland, Orlando, Detroit, Houston — and New Orleans will join that mix with a couple of its veterans. Just don’t expect a blockbuster.