Pelicans Could Form Lethal Trio Of CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram & Zion Williamson This Summer

Eric Bledsoe guarding CJ McCollum
Gettyimages | Steve Dykes
Basketball

The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the young teams that are planning to speed up their timeline in the 2021 offseason. It may just be two years since they started rebuilding their team in the post-Anthony Davis era but with the massive improvements shown by Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, the Pelicans may think that it's finally time for them to make a huge noise in the Western Conference.

However, in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title next season, the Pelicans should strongly consider adding a legitimate superstar to their roster this summer.

Pelicans Could Trade For CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum going back to defense
Gettyimages | Steph Chambers

One of the most intriguing trade targets for the Pelicans in the 2021 offseason is All-Star shooting guard CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network, the Pelicans are one of the teams that should keep tabs on McCollum. McCollum and the Trail Blazers are currently focused on bringing home the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season but if they go home early in the postseason, some people believe that they may consider heading into different directions this summer.

CJ McCollum Could Serve As Pelicans' Third Star Alongside Brandon Ingram & Zion Williamson

Trading for McCollum would definitely require the Pelicans to pay the king's ransom, but it would be worth it if it means acquiring a third star that would enable them to create one of the league's most lethal trios in the 2021-22 NBA season.

"With Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram being the two young stars on the New Orleans Pelicans, the future is definitely bright for this organization, but they need to add another high-level, proven talent in order to be competitive in the Western Conference," Siegel wrote. "Seeing as they are one of the worst perimeter-oriented teams in the entire league, making a move for CJ McCollum would definitely be beneficial and they actually have some intriguing assets that they could offer up in return."

CJ McCollum's On-Court Impact On Pelicans

McCollum would be an incredible acquisition for the Pelicans. Pairing him with Ingram and Williamson would further improve their offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 10 in the league, scoring 111.8 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. He would give them a very reliable third scoring option behind Ingram and Williamson, as well as a decent on-court facilitator, rebounder, perimeter defender, and three-point shooter.

This season, the 29-year-old shooting guard is averaging 23.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Potential Trade Package To Acquire CJ McCollum

If ever the Trail Blazers really decide to break up their explosive backcourt duo this summer, they are highly likely to put a high asking price on McCollum. According to Siegel, the Pelicans could start with a trade package that includes Eric Bledsoe and Jaxson Hayes, together with some of the future draft assets that they got from trading Davis and Jrue Holiday.

Another interesting scenario that the Pelicans could explore in the 2021 offseason is the sign-and-trade deal that would send Lonzo Ball to Portland. However, with the presence of Lillard on their roster, it remains a big question mark if they would have any interest in adding Ball to their roster.