The New Orleans Pelicans executed one of the most high-profile sign-and-trades of the young NBA off-season in a deal that landed them talented young guard Tyreke Evans. Evans will come in to compliment Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and newly acquired Jrue Holiday.
Soon after the Houston Rockets inked Dwight Howard, reports began circulating that their starting center from last season, Omer Asik, was asking to be traded. One of the teams that was thrown out as a potential trade partner with Houston to acquire Asik was, in fact, the Pelicans. Ryan Anderson was the name that was put in the mix as who the Pelicans would send away to get Asik.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, though, that deal is not going to happen. Reportedly, there were no serious discussions about an Asik, Anderson swap and the Pelicans have no interest in acquiring Asik or, presumably, parting ways with Anderson.
Considering that they sent away center Robin Lopez in the Evans deal, the fact that they have no interest in Asik seems to solidify the idea that the Pelicans are planning to give Davis the bulk of his workload at the five next season, as opposed to playing at power forward like he did most of last season.
Anderson is one of the best young stretch fours in the game and is a solid option as either a starting power forward or a super-sixth man. However, there are serious questions about how well Davis will perform and hold up playing a whole season at center. Though he’s obviously extremely talented and has a ton of potential, he still has somewhat of a slight build and seems like he would get pushed around a bit playing primarily at the five.
However, it’s hard to disagree with the Pelicans for not pursuing Asik. Though both he and Anderson are quality young players, Anderson will provide them with more versatility and options moving forward.