No New Orleans Pelicans trades on deadline day
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
On an NBA trade-deadline day that lacked a blockbuster deal and primarily was much ado about nothing leaguewide, the transactions that most impacted the New Orleans Pelicans involved their two upcoming opponents. The Pelicans did not pull the trigger on any trades prior to Thursday’s 2 p.m. Central cut-off, but both of their weekend foes will have slightly reconfigured lineups when New Orleans (23-30) visits Charlotte and Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
“You’d like to make moves to improve your team, it’s just not as easy as everyone thinks,” said Pelicans Coach Monty Williams, just before Thursday’s deadline. “It’s just hard to make trades. Teams aren’t willing to give up good players. You’re not willing to give up good players. Sometimes you’ve just got to play it out (with the roster you have).”
New Orleans’ flexibility to make moves was possibly hampered by the fact that it currently has three players who are sidelined by injuries. The Pelicans have also been at the maximum of 15 players on their roster since signing Luke Babbitt.
“I think the variables (in the trade market) are different with the injuries,” Williams said. “I do know a lot of teams call and ask about our guys. We’re not willing to give up good players. The injuries I’m sure have an effect on the way you do trades and how you do your business.”
The Bobcats and Wizards were among the NBA teams who made minor trades Thursday, with Charlotte acquiring backcourt depth in point guard Luke Ridnour and shooting guard Gary Neal. It’s uncertain if they will be available to play by 6 p.m. Central on Friday. Meanwhile, Washington significantly improved its backup point guard behind John Wall by landing veteran Andre Miller.
Although he’s not even technically on the Pelicans’ roster, 2013 second-round pick Pierre Jackson’s rights are owned by New Orleans. The high-scoring point guard’s name came up often in this week’s rumor mill, but lost in the talk was that the Pelicans were under no obligation to change the D-Leaguer’s status with the team.
“I know he’s done some good stuff in the D-League,” Williams said. “We still have his rights. I think people forget that we don’t have to do anything. We can just keep him (and) wait until the summertime to look at him again.”
NBA teams can resume making trades when their 2013-14 season concludes, in the days or weeks leading up to the June draft. New Orleans currently does not have any picks in the ’14 selection order, but the Pelicans still could acquire one or more via trades. The Pelicans dealt their first-round pick to Philadelphia to land ’13 All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.
“You always need draft picks,” Williams said. “But easier said than done. We made a decision to use our picks to get Jrue. I know right now it probably doesn’t look as good because Jrue is hurt, but we think in the long run it’s going to help us.”