Trade Deadline 2023: New Orleans Pelicans Mock Deadline

  • GM: Anil Gogna, @anilgognanba

    Salary Cap: $146,694,229

    Luxury Tax: $3,572,771

    GOAL: Do something similar to what I said for Memphis… the West is wide open, don’t be afraid to consolidate depth for an upgrade in a pursuit of a championship. You can cash in some of your assets and trade chips for championship caliber players


    • Assess the trade market on some of your young players
    • Obviously, guys such as Trey Murphy, Dyson Daniels, or Herb Jones likely won’t be moved unless it’s a return for an All-Star….but there’s guys like Kira Lewis and Jaxson Hayes that could have some value

    • Would the Pels upgrade at center? Valanciunas is adequate, but could you imagine Myles Turner on this team?

    o   Suggested 3 team trade:

    Nets get: JV, Garrett Temple, & Daniel Theis
    • Pelicans get: Myles Turner, Patty Mills, TJ McConnell, & Goga Bitadze
    • Pacers get: Joe Harris, Devonte’ Graham, Jaxson Hayes, two first-rounders
    • Now Pacers may just renegotiate and extend Turner rather than trade him, and Nic Claxton has played elite defense for BKN, so maybe this exact trade isn’t feasible, but something like it is possible

    o   If not Myles Turner, then what about Chris Boucher?

    • Combining just Garrett Temple & Devonte’ Graham’s salary can get you to $21,705,000 if you can find a way to stay under the tax

    o   Combining Temple, Graham, and Kira Lewis or Jaxson Hayes exc. puts you at the salary x 1.25 + $100,000 equation.

    • Reminder: Both CJ McCollum & Larry Nance Jr. cannot be traded this season, as they both signed extensions in late September/early October

    Players to Dangle

    Jonas Valanciunas (2/$30.6)

    o   Salary: $14,700,000

    o   Can match $19.7 million if you can stay out of tax or $18,475,000 if they go into the tax

    o   He’s a key piece to this team, but if you can get a center that fits better with this core, don’t hesitate to move him

    Devonte’ Graham (3/$36.3 w/ partial gtd in 2024-25)

    o   Salary: $11,550,000

    o   Can match up to $16,500,000 if you can stay out of tax or $14,537,500 if you go in the tax

    o   Not only is he the most likely mid-tier salary to move because of his contract and his lack of play, but Pelicans are going to get expensive starting next year & I’m not sure they’ll be willing to pay the tax, so dumping Graham’s salary would also be beneficial aside from the rotation player you acquire

    Jaxson Hayes (1/$6.8)

    o   Salary: $6,803,012

    o   Can match up to $11,803,012 if out of tax or $8,603,765 if in tax

    o   They just extended Nance, presumably to be the backup center, and Hayes is an expiring deal so it’s possible he’s moved. He’s also likely the young player the Pelicans are most willing to part with

    Garrett Temple (2/$10.5 w/ NG in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $5,155,000

    o   Can match up to $9,121,250 by himself if out of the tax

    o   See above: likely to be packaged with Graham + asset for a big upgrade

    Kira Lewis (2/$9.7)

    o   Salary: $4,004,280

    o   Salary matching: $7,107,490

    o   Since coming off a torn ACL, I’m not sure how the Pelicans value him, but if they want to keep Daniels, Murphy, Herb Jones, exc. then Lewis is probably the next most coveted asset

    Willy Hernangomez (2/$5 w/ TO in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $2,443,581

    o   Plenty of teams need a reliable backup center so it makes sense to move him to get something for him, but I’d understand wanting to keep him for depth if you move off Jaxson Hayes

    Naji Marshall (2/$3.7 w/ TO in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $1,782,621

    o   He’s a bargain for this year & next but there’s no such thing as too much wing depth, so while the Pels can use the depth, a team may be willing to overpay in a deal where he’s a sweetener

    Jose Alvarado (3/$5.4 w/ NG in 2023-24 & TO in ‘24-’25)

    o   Salary: $1,563,518

    o   He’s obviously a vital part of their defense when he’s in the game but he can be the cherry on top for a team who wants team control of him for 2.5 years; only would move if necessary to keep Murphy, Daniels, and Herb Jones

    Trade Targets

    • Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan will likely be the biggest names on the market
    • OG Anunoby & Gary Trent Jr.
    • Myles Turner
    • Saddiq Bey
    • Bogdan Bogdanovic
    • Justin Holiday
    • Joe Harris, Seth Curry, & Patty Mills
    • Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, & Kelly Oubre

    o   Terry Rozier would be an ideal candidate, but would form a really small backcourt with McCollum

    • Mason Plumlee
    • Alex Caruso
    • Tim Hardaway Jr. & Reggie Bullock
    • Christian Wood
    • Hamidou Diallo & Alec Burks
    • Eric Gordon & Jae’Sean Tate
    • Robert Covington
    • D’Angelo Russell

    o   Same issue as Rozier, except he isn’t as good

    • Evan Fournier & Cam Reddish
    • Immanuel Quickley
    • Gary Harris & Terrence Ross
    • Mo Bamba
    • Jonathan Isaac
    • Jae Crowder & Cameron Johnson
    • Josh Richardson & Doug McDermott
    • Chris Boucher
    • Malik Beasley & Jordan Clarkson
    • Will Barton & Kyle Kuzma

    Assets Owned

    • TPE: $1,786,878
    • 2023 1st (swap rights with Lakers)
    • 2024 1st (swap rights with Bucks)
    • 2024 LAL 1st (NO can defer to 2025)
    • 2025 1st
    • 2025 1st MIL (5-30 protected)
    • 2026 1st (swap rights with Bucks)
    • 2027 1st
    • 2027 MIL 1st
    • 2028 1st
    • 2029 1st
    • 2023 2nd (31-45 protected; otherwise to ATL)
    • 2024 2nd
    • 2024 CHI 2nd
    • 2026 2nd (less favorable of NO & TB, to NYK if 2025 MIL 1st not conveyed)
    • 2028 2nd (to NYK if 2025 1st not conveyed)
    • 2029 2nd


    Mock Trades to Date (Feb 2 Deadline)


    Pelicans get a stretch big

    TRADE: Pelicans trade Garrett Temple, Jaxson Hayes, and a 2024 1st round pick (most favorable between MIL and NOP) to the Jazz for Kelly Olynyk


    For the Pelicans, the Olynyk trade was a no-brainer. Barring something catastrophic, the Pelicans or Bucks 2024 first-rounder won’t be a high pick, and Temple and Hayes were salary fillers that the Pelicans didn’t value very highly. Olynyk also provides the Pelicans with a stretch big to play alongside Zion for stints. Olynyk can be a legitimate contributor for the Pelicans and is under contract beyond this year, so the price of a late 2024 first was an easy choice. The Pelicans have an ample amount of draft capital after the Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday trades, so they were willing to move a pick to push their chips in to try to make a run at a championship, and Olynyk is a piece of that puzzle.

    For the Jazz, they wanted to clear playing time for newly-acquired Naz Reid and rookie Walker Kessler. In reality, Olynyk’s value will be in the late-first round pick range, and the Jazz recouped just that after they traded one away to Minnesota for Naz Reid. The Jazz also valued Garrett Temple as a veteran presence in their locker room for the rest of the season and for a potential playoff run. 


    Pelicans trade for All-Star point guard


    Pelicans receive: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, Toronto 2029 2nd

    Raptors receive: Devonte’ Graham, Dyson Daniels, Naji Marshall, 2024 LAL 1st round pick (top-3 protected) and Pelicans 2026 1st (most favorable of MIL and NOP), Bulls 2024 2nd

    Nuggets receive: Willy Hernangómez and Raptors 2027 2nd


    This trade has been the most controversial among those that were announced on Twitter or on Bird Rights Podcast and has definitely received the most pushback. However, Pelicans GM, Anil Gogna’s rationale was sound. This trade was very reminiscent of the Jrue Holiday to the Bucks trade. At the time, it seemed like there was a massive overpay from Milwaukee and a desperate ploy to keep Giannis with the Bucks. But then they ultimately re-signed Giannis to a long-term deal and won the championship with the help of Holiday, so nobody will remember that trade as an overpay. Anil felt that in order to get off Devonte’ Graham’s guaranteed money beyond this year, it would take a first-round pick. Keep in mind, the Pelicans have never paid the luxury tax in franchise history. As a result, he felt that this deal was essentially Daniels, Marshall, and one first-round pick for VanVleet. Daniels has the potential to be great, but according to Anil, it’s unpredictable to know whether that potential comes to fruition. 

    For the Raptors, their asking price was high for VanVleet. After turning down a $112 million extension, the Raptors were almost required to hear offers on VanVleet. Getting two first-round picks, Dyson Daniels, and Naji Marshall was a massive haul for a re-tooling team. In reality, it is unlikely that the Pelicans will be willing to part ways with Daniels, but it isn’t the craziest thing to think it’s time to push in some of their assets to try to make a run at an NBA finals appearance with how wide open the Western Conference is this year. 

    For the Nuggets, they got a second-round pick to take on Hernangómez, who instantly becomes the best backup center option behind Nikola Jokić on this roster. 

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