NBA Rumors: Pelicans Could Get James Harden For Package Centered On Brandon Ingram, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

Although the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t considered among the top contenders for the NBA championship in the 2021 season, a recent list of hypothetical trades suggested that the team could make a move for disgruntled Houston Rockets superstar James Harden.

Recent reports have hinted that Harden is hoping to be traded to a team with a realistic chance of winning a title in the 2020-21 campaign, with the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks among his preferred destinations. However, according to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, none of those organizations appear to have the “long-term assets” Houston is supposedly demanding if they agree to ship the three-time NBA scoring leader.

As proposed by Buckley, the Pelicans could acquire Harden for a package including 2019-20 Most Improved Player winner Brandon Ingram, incoming second-year center Jaxson Hayes, rookie point guard Kira Lewis Jr., a 2021 first-round pick and second-round pick, and a first-rounder from the 2025 draft class. He noted that the Rockets could make this deal possible by exploring “alternative” trade options such as New Orleans, which has a promising young core heading into the 2020-21 campaign.

“The Pelicans could not only deliver a young cornerstone in 23-year-old All-Star Brandon Ingram, but they could also send back several scratch-off tickets in the form of future draft picks and recent lottery selections Kira Lewis Jr. and Jaxson Hayes.”

According to Buckley, the Pelicans should consider the aforementioned hypothetical scenario simply because it gives them a chance to add a former MVP who, aside from his scoring titles, also led the league in assists in 2016-17. He also cited The Athletic’s David Aldridge, who recently wrote that acquiring someone of Harden’s caliber could be very instrumental in convincing last year’s first overall draft choice, Zion Williamson, to remain in New Orleans for the long haul.

Such a move, as further noted, could also give the Pelicans a better chance of defeating Western Conference powerhouses like the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers and Denver Nuggets.

Given that Ingram averaged a career-best 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists for the Pelicans in 2019-20, per Basketball-Reference, Aldridge wrote that the Pelicans shouldn’t sacrifice him in any potential deal for Harden. However, Bleacher Report’s Buckley stressed that it’s highly likely the Rockets will want him to be the centerpiece of New Orleans’ offer.

The Pelicans are not the only dark horse candidate that could theoretically try to land Harden. As reported by The Inquisitr, a recent trade idea suggested that the Chicago Bulls could get the 31-year-old shooting guard in a deal involving three of their key players — guards Zach LaVine and Coby White and forward Otto Porter Jr.

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