Big Moves at the Trade Deadline by the Pelicans and Kings
Now that the NBA trade deadline at a close, a lot of teams made some moves to help themselves out as the season progresses. However, no two teams made such drastic changes as Sacramento and New Orleans.
The Pelicans currently are ranked 11th in the western conference and needed something huge to happen to up their chances at the postseason. So, they acquired CJ McCollum in exchange for Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Didi Louzada from Portland. The trade is vital for New Orleans because McCollum is still a highly regarded sharpshooting guard in the league and that was something New Orleans was in need of. The Pels now make the case for being under the radar contenders in the west and can compete with a lot of the teams in that conference. With Brandon Ingram averaging 27 points a game this past week and seeing Zion possibly come back before the playoffs begin, the McCollum addition means Nola could be a dark horse for an NBA title. Give credit to general manager Trajan Langdon and vice president of basketball operations David Griffin for making quite honestly one of the best moves at the deadline. New Orleans has shifted from being a shoe in for a lottery spot to a likely playoff team come April.
The Sacramento Kings also made a big time move. They controversially got rid of future phenom Tyrese Haliburton sending him to Indiana along with three-point threat Buddy Hield, and seasoned big man Tristian Thompson. In return, the Kings got an absolute game changer in Domantas Sabonis who can really add a spark to what has been a stagnant Sacramento team this season. They also received Justin Holiday and
Jeremy Lamb, two guys who add a valuable veteran presence to one of the league’s youngest teams. It is hard to choose one to over the other in regard to who won this trade. Indiana was a team with playoff aspirations that has had a letdown of a year. Therefore, trading their all-star to another team for a player like Haliburton who has a very high ceiling is not necessarily a bad move. The kings however landed the guy they needed to be more competitive, and they now have a proven talent that they can build around for a few more years. They may not be ready to win and play for titles now, but if the Sacramento management plays their cards right, they could see chances for a championship a little down the road.