When Anthony Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, most people expected the New Orleans Pelicans to move their remaining veterans next and focus on the development of their young players. However, with Jrue Holiday still on their roster, it seems they don’t have any plan of undergoing a full-scale rebuild and are aiming to contend for the NBA championship title as soon as next season. However, in order to become a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference, the Pelicans should strongly consider adding a legitimate superstar to their roster in the 2020 offseason.
One of the superstars they could potentially target on the trade market this summer is All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the successful acquisition of Beal in the offseason could turn the Pelicans from a rebuilding team into a “viable contender” in the league.
“Most expect the Pelicans to steer down the path of a quasi-rebuild. More brainpower is wasted among fans and pundits figuring out whether they’ll trade Jrue Holiday, a free agent in 2021 (player option), than anything else other than Zion Williamson’s future. What if New Orleans throws a curveball, though? It has the assets to try. And the motivation too. The Pelicans were gobsmacking opponents with Zion on the floor when the league closed its doors. Their record is not reflective of how ready they might be. Adding Bradley Beal, a top-20ish player, could turn New Orleans not just into a postseason lock but a viable contender.”
Beal would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Pelicans, giving them an All-Star caliber shooting guard and another reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, Beal wouldn’t have a hard time sharing the backcourt with Holiday and would be an ideal fit alongside ball-dominant players like Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Aside from his ability to make an impact even without the ball in his hands, his performance in the 2019-20 season proves that he could also create his own shots and make plays for his teammates when needed.
Beal may not perfectly fit the timeline of the Pelicans’ young core, but he would still be in his prime when Ingram, Williamson, and Lonzo Ball all turn into legitimate NBA superstars. If he grows and builds good chemistry with Ingram, Williamson, Holiday, and Ball, it wouldn’t be a surprise if New Orleans makes a huge leap next season.
Unfortunately, as of now, acquiring Beal may just be a pipe dream for the Pelicans. In the past months, the Wizards continue to insist they have no intention of trading their shooting guard this summer. If ever the Wizards do consider sending the All-Star to New Orleans, they would likely demand a trade package that includes at least one of Ball, Ingram, and Williamson, together with multiple first-round picks.