KEY POINTS

  • Pelicans believe they can make the NBA playoffs
  • Williamson’s impact will show Pels path this season
  • Holiday and Reddick remain tradable assets in the market

The New Orleans Pelicans were one of the teams expected to be busy in the coming weeks with the NBA trade deadline fast approaching. However, it appears the Pels have shifted to low gear and are now holding off any trade talks to assess their current campaign.

In a report by Adrian Wojnarowski on the Sports Center, New Orleans has pulled back from trade talks in what could be a change in direction. With Zion Williamson finally making his much-delayed NBA debut, the Pelicans may be looking to make a serious playoff push with its current cast.

The Pelicans are currently at the 12th spot of the NBA Western Conference with a 17-27 win-loss card. New Orleans can still mathematically make it if they string up wins. The obvious face of the franchise right now is Brandon Ingram. The 22-year-old has been phenomenal this season, averaging 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 39 games. One can only imagine how formidable the Pels frontline will be if he and Williamson find a way to operate well.

Speaking of Williamson, any potential NBA trade the Pelicans have in mind will likely depend on how the 19-year-old performs. Though he showed awesome form prior to the regular season, concerns on how well he can last an entire season remain in the air. Tied up to that is his weight which could factor in future injuries.

Against the Spurs, Williamson is likely to be used sparingly. Ingram remains the focal point, together with players like Jrue Holiday. Incidentally, the 29-year-old is one of the players that the Pelicans are presumably dangling. The 17th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft missed a couple of games due to injury. In 35 games this season, Holiday has normed 20.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in 35.5 minutes of action per Basketball-Reference.com.

Aside from Holiday, J.J. Reddick is also another player critics feel could be moved. The 35-year-old has played in 39 games, averaging 15.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Both Holiday and Reddick could be of help to NBA playoff-bound teams, especially the ones who have had backcourt shortcomings like the Lakers, Clippers and the Sixers.

With the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6, the Pelicans could revert to selling some of their players once more. For now, everything has been put on hold and hinges on the impact of Zion Williamson.

Zion Williamson Zion Williamson seems bent on joining the Phoenix Suns next NBA season. Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Michigan State Spartans in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: Getty Images/Patrick Smith





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