NBA Rumors: Pelicans Could Acquire D'Angelo Russell For Three Players & Draft Pick In Proposed Deal

JB Baruelo

All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell is one of the players on the Minnesota Timberwolves' roster who are frequently mentioned in various trade speculations. The Timberwolves may not be actively trading Russell right now but unlike Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, he's not considered as an untouchable in Minnesota.

Most people believe that the Timberwolves would explore the possibility of trading Russell if they are presented with an intriguing offer. Among the teams that could express interest in trading for the former No. 2 pick is the New Orleans Pelicans.

D'Angelo Russell To New Orleans Pelicans

In a recent article, Greg Patuto of NBA Analysis Network came up with a hypothetical trade idea that would enable the Pelicans to acquire Russell from the Timberwolves before the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline. In the proposed trade scenario, the Pelicans would be sending a package that includes Devonte' Graham, Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, and a 2022 second-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Russell and Jaylen Nowell.

If the trade becomes a reality, Patuto believes it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.

Why The Timberwolves Would Make The Trade

Patuto thinks that the proposed deal is worth exploring for the Timberwolves if they plan to undergo another rebuild with Towns and Edwards. Aside from acquiring three players who would complement KAT and Edwards, it would also allow them to get Russell's massive salary off their books.

"This is a continuous rebuild for the franchise and it could take another step in a deal such as this one," Patuto wrote. "The Timberwolves would be able to shed D’Angelo Russell and his contract here. This would give them a chance to add smaller deals that are easier to move. This is a method to clear cap space moving forward."

D'Angelo Russell Gives Pelicans Massive Upgrade At Starting PG Spot

Russell would be an incredible addition to the Pelicans. Compared to Graham and Satoransky, he's more capable of taking the role as the Pelicans' starting point guard in the 2021-22 NBA season. His potential arrival in New Orleans would give them a major backcourt upgrade and boost their performance on the offensive end of the floor.

Aside from being a great playmaker, Russell is also a very reliable scoring option, a decent perimeter defender, and a floor-spacer. Last season, he averaged 19.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Pelicans Form 'Big Three' With Zion Williamson & Brandon Ingram

At 25, Russell still fits the timeline of Pelicans' franchise cornerstones Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Russell would still need time to familiarize himself with the Pelicans' system but once he, Ingram, and Williamson grow together and build perfect chemistry, a "Big Three" would soon rise in New Orleans.

When surrounded with the right pieces, the trio of Russell, Ingram, and Williamson could give the Pelicans a realistic chance of fully dominating the loaded Western Conference and winning their first NBA championship title.