The New Orleans Pelicans pushed the reset button when they traded Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, but they aren’t expected to remain at the bottom of league rankings for long. With the improvements shown by Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, there’s a growing belief that Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin could be aggressive in making moves to boost their chances of fully dominating the Western Conference and capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season. One of the players that the Pelicans could target before the 2021 trade deadline is All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
In a recent article, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer revealed that some league executives viewed the Pelicans as a “sleeper to a blockbuster deal.” With the team having a plethora of future first-rounders, as well as young and promising talents, O’Connor believes that the Pelicans are in a strong position to acquire Beal if the Wizards decide to make him available on the trading block this season. He also explained why going all-in for the All-Star shooting guard would make a lot of sense for New Orleans.
“The Pelicans are sitting on a pile of future firsts acquired for Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, plus a bevy of talented young players and tradable veterans. Execs from other teams don’t believe Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin will sit on his assets for long considering how good Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson already are. With Stan Van Gundy at head coach and Steven Adams at center, the Pelicans are getting stops. Ingram and Williamson need assistance offensively, though. They don’t have a shot-creator and their spacing stinks. Beal would bring what the team is lacking with his shooting and shot creation.”
Beal would undeniably be the perfect trade target for the Pelicans this season. He’s among the few superstars in the league who is capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity. With his ability to efficiently play on the court with or without the ball in his hands, he would likely have an easy time building chemistry with ball-dominant superstars like Ingram and Williamson.
Aside from being a prolific scorer, he could also help the Pelicans improve in terms of playmaking, rebounding, and floor-spacing. This season, he’s averaging 34.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. His arrival in New Orleans wouldn’t make them an instant favorite to win a championship, but pairing him with Ingram and Williamson would give them a better chance of reaching the playoffs and challenging powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers in a best-of-seven series.