COMMENTARY | With the trade deadline a month away and their leading scorer indefinitely injured, the New Orleans Pelicans are a team that could stand to engage in trade talks in the coming weeks.
Ryan Anderson's herniated disk will keep him out of the lineup for some time, effectively ruining the Pelicans' already-slim playoff hopes. With their 2014 draft pick going to the 76ers from the Jrue Holiday trade, it doesn't behoove them to drop in the standings because they won't get anything from it.
Unfortunately, all indications seem that the Pelicans are not engaged in any serious trade talks at the moment. Last month, there was a rumor about trading Ryan Anderson to the Grizzlies for Zach Randolph, but even if that wasn't a lopsided trade that Pelicans GM Dell Demps would laugh off the phone -- and it was -- that trade can officially be put to rest with Anderson's injury.
Jackson, the current D-League scoring leader, is playing for the Idaho Stampede and the Pelicans own his rights. But as Jackson becomes a bigger and bigger fish in the small pond of the D-League, he is going to rightfully want to move into the NBA. The problem is that the Pelicans are loaded at the guard position.
With Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Austin Rivers, and Brian Roberts all getting time at point guard, it would be hard for Jackson to break through the rotation. Because of that, he's going to look for any team that could use a backup point guard.
The trade makes enough sense in that regard, but the only thing that may hold it up is Jackson's perceived value. As a player who looks pretty good in the D-League, the Pelicans might try to get a draft pick for Jackson. However, that might be more than anyone else wants to offer. As impressive as Jackson has been, he's still playing in the D-League, and the Pelicans can afford to get rid of him as a luxury. That sort of situation doesn't help their bargaining position.
I think the trade will happen mostly because of what I just said above -- the Pelicans have holes in other positions and an abundance of point guards. If I were Dell Demps, I'd promote Jackson to the team first and see what he can give me before shipping him off; he may prove to be better than Roberts or Rivers, thus making them the expendable pieces.
But if Demps can trade Jackson for another team's bench player at either forward position, that may end up benefiting the team most. And for a team that is looking to recover after being swallowed whole by the injury bug, any little bit can help.
Nathan Raby is a lifelong fan of all things New Orleans, and a Pelicans follower since they arrived in town as the Hornets in 2002. Besides writing for the Saints and Pelicans on Yahoo Contributor Network, he is co-founder of http://thefootbawlblog.com and can be heard on the Laces Out podcast.
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