LA Clippers: One trade with every team – New Orleans Pelicans

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

We suggest one trade the LA Clippers could make with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The LA Clippers are a team looking to win a championship now. Their acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last offseason put them in “win-now” mode. They are all-in for the immediate and near future.

The New Orleans Pelicans are on the outside of the NBA Playoffs looking in…for now. They currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference with a record of 28-36. They were a team on a surge once rookie phenom Zion Williamson returned after tearing his meniscus in a preseason game last October. The team was 11-8 in the 19 games Williamson played since his return and looked to have the easiest remaining schedule down the stretch before the NBA season was put on hold.

The Pelicans are a team with a seemingly bright future. Not only did they win the Zion Williamson lottery, but the return they got from the Lakers in their trade for superstar Anthony Davis landed them Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, De’Andre Hunter, and three first-round draft picks. They flipped De’Andre Hunter (along with Solomon Hill and Jordan Boone) to Atlanta for Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, and another first-round draft pick.

We want to use their bright future to the Clippers’ advantage and create a hypothetical trade for a player that can help bring a championship to Los Angeles right now.

Why we suggest this trade for the LA Clippers:

Jrue Holiday is one of the most underrated guards in the NBA. He is consistently one of the best defensive players in the league with a deceptive strength that allows him to guard four positions well. He is a shut-down defender that can take away the opposing team’s best guard.

The Clippers are already a devastating defensive team. Holiday is a slight upgrade on defense from Patrick Beverley (who is obviously no slouch himself) but is a major upgrade on the offensive end of the floor. Holiday is averaging 19.6 points, 6.9 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game this year and can run the offense or act as a secondary ball-handler.

Losing Marucs Morris and Landry Shamet in the deal hurts the Clippers’ depth, but they can afford it to acquire a player the caliber of Holiday.

Would the Pelicans do it?

Each of the pieces we offer up in this deal represents something positive for the Pelicans.

Marcus Morris, and his expiring contract offer some cap flexibility. Jrue Holiday is making $26 million and doesn’t really fit the timeline of their rebuild so getting him off the books could allow them to acquire some younger players that fit in more with their rise to contention.

Beverley is in the trade to help match Holiday’s salary and also provide the Pelicans with some of the defense and veteran leadership they’d lose by shipping out Holiday.

Including Shamet in the deal is certainly pricey for the Clippers, but it gives the Pelicans another young player that fits their timeline and can fill in multiple roles and grow with their young core. It also reunites Shamet with his former teammate and mentor JJ Redick, whom he played with in his rookie season in Philadelphia.

dark. Next. NBA Draft: 13 times the LA Clippers left stars on the board

Read the rest of our “One Trade with every Team” series here:

Pacific Division: Lakers, Warriors, Kings, Suns
Northwest Division: Nuggets, Jazz, Thunder, Blazers, Timberwolves
Southwest Division: Rockets, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Spurs
Atlantic Division: Raptors, Celtics, 76ers, Nets, Knicks
Central Division: Bucks, Pacers, Bulls, Pistons, Cavaliers
Southeast Division: Heat, Magic, Wizards, Hornets, Hawks