The Pelicans and the Trade Market

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Published: December 14, 2013
Austin Rivers

The unofficial trade market opens tomorrow, as players who were signed this past summer will be eligible to be traded starting on December 15th. They are often used for filler, to make trades work cap wise, or they were signed this summer with the intention to be traded once the team was given its first opportunity. Regardless of the intention, the trade season seems to really get going on December 15th. Even Monty Williams acknowledged that making a trade once this date comes is a live option, and one that he and Dell have discussed.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some important dates and numbers that effect the Pelicans as the Trade Market unofficially, officially opens up.

1. February 20th – This is the trade deadline, so teams have until this date to get things done.

2. December 19th – If you acquire a player on or before this date, you will be able to package him in a trade with other players before the trade deadline. A player cannot be packaged in a trade within 60 days of being acquired. So, for instance, let’s imagine that the Raptors don’t have long-term plans for Greivis Vasquez, and just saw him as an asset. They can make him a part of another trade before the deadline this year, but if that trade went down on December 23rd, they could not have unless he was the only player going out in the swap.

3. 150 Percent plus $100,000 – Based on where the Pelicans are with relation to the cap, this is how much they can take back in a trade. For the trade to be legal, they can only take back up to 150% of their outgoing salaries, plus $100,000. So, if they trade Greg Stiemsma ($2.676 mil) and Al-Farouq Aminu ($3.749 mil), they can take back up to $9.7375 million dollars in salary. More on this later.

4. $7.43 million - This is approximately how far the Pelicans are under the luxury tax line; a line they will not likely cross this year no matter how tempting the trade is. Technically, they could do a trade where they send out $15 million in salary and take $22.6 million back, but that would put them above the luxury tax line, so do not expect them to do that.

5. 2016 – This is the earliest first round pick that the Pelicans can trade, as their 2014 1st rounder essentially belongs to Philadelphia. And the Pelicans do not own their 2014 or 2015 2nd round picks either. So, long story short, if picks are exchanged it will be more likely that the Pelicans are getting them than giving them.

6. 19 – The number of players in the league with trade veto power. Al-Farouq Aminu is one of them. If Aminu is traded, he loses his ability to become a ‘Bird Rights Free Agent.’ Because of this, Aminu has the right to veto any trade with him in it. This might be big, it might not. If the Pelicans make it clear that they will not re-sign him in the offseason regardless, it becomes a moot point of sorts. But Aminu still holds the cards here. The Pelicans could find an ideal trade, with Aminu a part of it, and he could simply say no and the whole thing will come crashing down.

Potential Packages and Returns:

The Greg Stiemsma and Al-Farouq Aminu Package

Outgoing Salary: $6.425 million

Maximum Incoming Salary: $9.7375 million

You could also throw a minimum contract or two into this package and add another two or three million to the max incoming salary. This package is likely only enticing to a team looking to dump a long term contract and clear room for next year and beyond.

Possible Targets: Demar Derozen, Gerald Wallace, Caron Butler, Al Harrington, Glen Davis, JaVale McGee

Obviously, the two most intriguing names on this list are Derozen and McGee – both guys who have flashes of brilliance mixed with periods of inefficiency. The Raptors appear to be in cap clearing mode and the Nuggets are playing better since McGee went down with an injury. Would expiring contracts alone be enough to land one of these guys? Honestly, it is impossible to answer since it depends on what the other 28 teams can offer, but it is worth exploring.

The Austin Rivers and/or Future Pick, and Expirings Package

Outgoing Salary: Up to 10+ million

Maximum Incoming Salary: Up to 15+ million

It is hard to know whether a team out there thinks Rivers has any value. Admittedly, he has had terrible regular season numbers in his 60+ games in the league. But he was a lottery pick, the #2 High School player just a little over 2 years ago, and a guy who showed vast improvement this year in Summer League. Perhaps there is a GM that just feels he hasn’t been given the opportunity in New Orleans to play his game. If that is the case, Rivers and a future pick could be seen as assets for a team looking a few years down the road. The Pelicans can throw in expirings like Aminu, Stiemsma, and even Jason Smith if the right deal presents itself and take back over $15 million in salary.

Possible Targets: Wilson Chandler, Danilo Galinari, Zaza Pachulia, Luol Deng, Chris Copeland, Spencer Hawes, Anderson Varejao, Brandon Rush

The Nuggets will be right up against the luxury tax next year, and that would be before they sign their up-and-coming wing Jordan Hamilton. If they prefer him to Galinari or Wilson Chandler, it would be smart to trade one of those two so that they can sign Hamilton and stay out of the luxury tax. As a side note, Nuggets GM Tim Connelly was said to be a fan of Austin Rivers when he was here working with Dell.

The Bulls also need to shed salary in order to bring over Euroleague star Nikola Mirotic next season, and Deng appears to be asking for a big extension. Getting some assets and possibly even a guy like Aminu, who would fit with their style, could be enough to land Deng if hope for this season is lost in Chicago. Pachulia, Copeland, and Rush are solid rotation players with moderate salaries, while Varejao and Hawes are starters who would likely cost all of the teams assets.

The ‘Any of the Big Five’ Package

Sorry, I am not entertaining that today. While I would put the chances of a Gordon trade this year at 15% and Ryno at around 5%, I simply don’t think we see a move with any of these guys this year. Dell hasn’t been able to see what they can do together much yet, and in the few glimpses he has seen, the unit has been spectacular.

The Scraps for Scraps Package

Outgoing Salary: $1-3 million

Maximum Incoming Salary: $1.5-4.5 million

This is the trade that Demps has been famous for. He takes guys that are not producing for him and trades them for guys not producing for some other team, and Monty finds a way to get some production out of the acquired player. See: Jason Smith, Marco Belinelli, Willie Green, etc. In this scenario, he could trade Rivers, Stiemsma, Roberts, or Miller (or a combination of 2 or three) for an underutilized player who they think has potential.

Possible Targets: Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, Jeff Taylor, Tyler Zeller, Ekpe Udoh, Jason Thompson

All of the guys are young and are recent first-round selections, with the exception of Taylor who was high second round. And three of them were even lottery picks. They are at overcrowded positions right now on their teams and don’t see many minutes, yet they all could very easily make the Pelicans rotation, as a big or a small forward.

47 comments
LateNite504FC
LateNite504FC

No reason to push a trade now. Give the current team some time together. What I have seen, after the first week or so and when everyone was healthy, is a very young and talented team that could mature into contender. No need to rush, and not the time for any kind of one step back will lead to two steps forward type of move.

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

"Technically, they could do a trade where they send out $15 million in salary and take $22.6 million back"

So you're telling me we're trading Gordon for 'Melo?  J/K, I don't want my team to get cancer.

Javale McGee?  We already had the Xavier dunk on Withey.  I don't want my team consistently on "Shaqtin a Fool" as well. 

Luol Deng will not be worth the extension he will command.  It seems like his play has been declining.  Plus he is older than the "McNamara Bar".

I DO believe we will see a scraps for scraps package.  Some people are HUGE on B-Rob.  I think we could get a decent deal for him and free up some minutes for Rivers.


Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I doubt these trades would happen

Pels-Nuggets trade:

Pels get Wilson Chandler

Nuggets get Rivers and Stiemestra

Pels-Cavs

Pels get Tyler Zeller

Cavs get Brian Roberts

Pels-Pacers

Pels get Chris Copeland

Pacers get Aminu

Call up Pierre Jackson

C:Smith-Zeller-Withey

PF:Davis-Anderson-Admunson

SF:Chandler-Copeland-Miller

SG:Gordon-Evans-Morrow

PG Holiday-Jackson

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

I agree with a fourth of what you said....Yes Rivers needs minutes,but not at the expense of the team....and who do you sit ? he is not a point or two guard.....I think he should be playing in the D league .....and for as the other movers Chandler..etc....that was a different owner....salary dumps to make the team attractive to be sold..........

Sports_Guy
Sports_Guy

What is the big deal about trading Austin Rivers? The coaching staff gives him barely any playing time. Does he need development? yes. just like all players, he needs to develop. He was a top 10 pick. Invest time in him and he can make good plays. He's the type of player that needs about 18-23 minutes to have a good impact. Dell knew drafting him he would need development. The coaching staff needs to invest. As he gets more and more playing time I guarantee he will produce. Y'all so gung-ho on trading him just like y'all were with Thorton, bellinelli, tyson chandler, jr. smith and what they ALL doing since leaving new orleans? PRODUCING and becoming valuable members of their respective teams. You don't pick a player top 10 just to get rid of him the next year. You invest time, just like the coaching staff did with AD. AD and Austin are our future. Thats the Pelicans problem throughout the history of the franchise... we have always had peices to have a great team but our coaching staff doesn't wanna invest time in certain players. If anyone that needs to be traded because of lack of production is Aminu. Y'all were never so enthused about traded him.


regardless Geaux Pelicans, Saints, and LSU

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

The only problem with moving Aminu would be replacing his defense,rebounding and overall energy....but, his lack of an outside shoot hurts when we play good defensive teams.........Dell has a lot of work to do....Chris Copeland would be a good fit ....

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I would perfer McGee he has matured and improved these past two seasons compared to when he was on an immature Wizards team.We need a big forsure because Smith is not a center he's an pf.

jdtufts10
jdtufts10

Unless Dell really thinks that Derozan can play the 3 spot, then trading for him would make 0 sense at all, because we would be unbelievably top heavy at the guard spot. The only way I could see us making any kind of move for anyone who is not a center, would be if we had plans in the near future to move Eric Gordon or one of our many guards. As much as people want to say the 3 is a major problem for us, I would have to disagree because Aminu ( as of late) has been everything we needed; he has played solid D, came with energy every night, and has been able to knock down a jumper here and there. On this list I don't see any names in particular besides Varejao that would fill any major holes that we have on our team. I am very interested to see what Dell does in the upcoming weeks, I am sure he has a move or two that none of us are expecting at all. But as we say… In Dell we Trust. 

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

We need a big who can score on the block......

Jason Quigley
Jason Quigley

Getting rid of Aminu and Stiemsma for Derozan? Could that actually happen? That would make me just giddy.

kfte
kfte

Correction 0-8

wilthomas178
wilthomas178

pelicans get.. jeff green-brandon bass..expiring contract kris humpries and boston 1st round pick 2014

celtics get Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and darius miller..


its stomach turning, but much better financially..on the floor( at least on the defense side) and going froward

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

An Gordon trade would make sense since he's healthy for expiring contracts i woldn't mind Deng because he has a chance to get re signed here next summer since the Lakers are in the for hunt Melo or LeBron.

thouse
thouse

I'm not sure why everyone is in a rush to make a trade. 

The only guys that make sense are Varejao and Galinari/Chandler. And even then, Galinari is coming off knee surgery. They can find a guy like Taylor- hell Miller might be a guy like Taylor.

A Derozan, Thompson, or McGee trade is a fireable offense. Derozan makes even less sense than Tyreke did and McGee and Thompson just aren't good enough for the money they make. They're better off with Smith and Steimsma.


Come On Pelican
Come On Pelican

Two cellular voicemail messages intercepted recently by the National Security Agency: "EJ, Dell Demps here. Hey, man, I've been thinking about your daily request to be traded. Listen, if you can get your shooting percentage over .440 and your 3pt percentage up to .400 and score 25 points during a home win in front of Saints running back Pierre Thomas that gets our team over .500, then I'll do my best to trade you if I can get a decent center in exchange."

"JaVale, it's Eric. Good job stringing out that injury, man. If you can stay on the bench a little while longer, then I think that trade we've been talking about that brings you to the Pelicans will be on the table soon."

KingJewelz
KingJewelz

Wonder why Pierre Jackson wasn't talked about? Right now he is killing the d-league and other teams with pg probelms must have this guy on their rador. With and open shot now on the rostor do they bring him in or would they trade his rights?

isthisyourhomeworklawrence
isthisyourhomeworklawrence

I hope Dell the dealer sits on his cellphone this time around. Is anyone else here surprised by just how competitive this team has been sans AD? Jrue looks like the steal of the 2013 draft and I love the energy of this new guy Dell picked up, Al-Farouq Aminu, aka 'The Chucker Has Arrived!'

504ever
504ever

Like the picture of Austin Rivers cause I think he is most likely to go, and think that is what you are foreshadowing.  He still has trade value based on potential, and with Holiday, Gordon, and Evans, Rivers value to the Pelicans is likely to be limited because the Pelicans have so few minutes for Rivers.  What would I like to get for him (possibly in a package with Stiemsma, but not Aminu) is an offensive SF (with better size and/or defensive ability than Morrow), or a young big like Memphis's Davis or Leuer so I could start Anderson and bring Smith and Davis/Leuer off of the bench with Evans and Morrow.

Michael, I hope you do another article discussion possible targets in various price ranges 'cause that is where I need help understanding possible trade options for the Pelicans.

(I think Aminu still has value.  He faked a perimeter shot last night, and the defender bit, and Aminu drove to the basket for a layup/dunk.  We may see more of that as Aminu gets more confident in his outside shooting.  Plus Amiu is the perfect small ball 4 and rebounding compliment to pair with Anderson.)_

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

The Pelicans don't have an 2014 2nd rd pick because that was traded to the T-Wolves from the Darius Songaila -Antonio Daniels trade and have no 2015 2nd rd picks because that was traded to the Clippers in the CP3 for Eric Gordon,Aminu & Chris Kaman trade.The good news is the Pelicans have two 2016 second round picks one fron the Kings for Hilton Armstrong and the other from the Clippers for Rasual Buttler.

jdtufts10
jdtufts10

@Sports_Guy I like the points you made here, I believe we often cut ties with players who can play because they do not fit our "system" at the time. I watched Rivers avidly throughout the D-Leauge and he could make Layups, make Jumpers, and good choices with the ball. I know it was just the D-Leauge, but the guy has a skill set that can make it in the NBA, and can produce off the bench for multiple teams. I think what we have with Rivers is a first class example of a "head case." The guy brings out his best when confidence is given to him. When he has some confidence, he can play, but when everyone around him is talking about how poor his PER is and when he barley sees the court, its no wonder why he has none. I think if we invest a little bit in Rivers, and show him we have some confidence in the guy, we could really get some solid off the bench production out of him. 

504ever
504ever

@Sports_Guy  

The problem with investing time in Rivers is Gordon, Holiday, and Evans.  They are all much much better than Rivers, play his position, and each is playing very well.  The PERs of Gordon, Holiday, and Evans are all top 100 in the league and all double Rivers' PER!  So Rivers has only played in 2/3rd of the Pelican games and averaged 10 minutes/game.  

No one is going to take time away from Gordon, Holiday, and Evans and giving it to Rivers.  No one!  And, if Rivers is so good, how come he has such great difficulty scoring, and had the worst +/- on the team (by a good bit) in the last two games?

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Rivers is a chucker just like Nick Toon for the Saints these guys are living in the shadows of their fathers in their sport face it they suck.

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

@Jason Quigley I'm concerned about this.  Derozan is another guard.  Could it be foreshadowing moving Rivers/Roberts or BOTH?

macs21
macs21

@wilthomas178 Bass is decent, Green is an inefficient Small ball four who plays average D.

Ryan Anderson is the 2nd best stretch 4 in the NBA and has a better contract than Green. Eric Gordon is a top 5 SG when healthy.

That makes this a bad trade for us, especially given there is no way the rebuilding Celtics are trading away their 1st round pick..

504ever
504ever

@thouse I don't think Galinari ($10M/year for 3 years and yet to play a game this season) or even Wilson Chandler ($6M/year for 3 years and a PER equal to Aminu's) is worth the money.  The Pelicans are already paying 5 players (Gordon, Holiday, Evans, Anderson, and Davis) $50m/year for the next 3 years before Davis gets his max money.  And quality players for the money Smith and Aminu are UFAs at the end of this season.

I personally like Austin Rivers for Chris Singleton and a 2nd rounder.  Singleton is like Aminu with a better 3 pt shot and somewhat better defense, but a worse rebounder. So Aminu has competition and Monty can play "chess" with slightly different pieces at SF.  Both players are buried on their teams respective depth charts, so this is a classic scraps for scraps Dell Demps trade.

Ludiculous48
Ludiculous48

@thouse I think adding Thompson would be a great move. He and Reke have great Chemistry together and I feel like he is waay better operating in the post than any of the bigs we currently have. Plus at 6'11 and 250 he is pretty big dude. I think he would compliment AD pretty well.

kfte
kfte

@thouse "they better off with Smith and Steimsma" , has to be the dumbest comment of the month.

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

Chandler back in NOLA would be great with AD & TC the Tower Bros our frontcourt would be awesome.

Come On Pelican
Come On Pelican

The NSA just intercepted a 3rd voicemail message: “It’s Pierre. Nice game last night. Thanks for inviting me. Can l get those NBA All Star game tickets when I see you out at the Rose Bowl Big Ten Club lunch in a couple of weeks? I still think you’re a punk for backing out of your commitment to play for the Illini.”

Papa Pelican
Papa Pelican

I rather have Jaskson our roster than the Chuckers bros Rivers and Roberts

kfte
kfte

@isthisyourhomeworklawrence We are 0-7 against teams with winning records. What do you call competitive ? There are only two columns that matter W and L. This is not a horse shoe contest, no credit for being close with or without A.D.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@Papa Pelican Not really. They are top 55 protected, so unless they are 56-60 we won't get them. I guess that is a slight possibility for the Clippers, but not for the Kings. Best case scenario is that we get pick, at #56. Not really "good news." 

Ludiculous48
Ludiculous48

@Papa Pelican see its funny because I think you might be confusing Brian Roberts with Austin Rivers. Rivers is by no means a chucker. Much better passer than Roberts and the offense seems to run more fluidly when he is on the court. IMO he doesn't attack enough. 

thouse
thouse

@504ever @thouse  I can agree on Galinari/Chandler. I'm not as enthralled with them as others. They would be upgrades though.

Rivers for Singleton is about what I would expect. End of bench for end of bench. Singleton would be a nice back end of the rotation player in a spot of need for this team.

thouse
thouse

@Ludiculous48 @thouse Here's my problem with Thompson: he fits no need for this team. They need a big man who can defend and a 2 way wing. Thompson doesn't fit either bill. They need more depth? He's a jump shooting big who doesn't rebound well. I think the Pelicans are covered there. 

He's not a bad player, but he doesn't solve any of the problems the team has. 

thouse
thouse

@kfte @thouse  Excellent job of adding to the discussion. And I thought this place was supposed to have better discourse than other boards.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=stiemgr01&y1=2014&p2=thompja02&y2=2014&p3=mcgeeja01&y3=2014&p4=smithja02&y4=2014

Production isn't that different. Not sure about you, but I'd much rather pay $5million combined for Stiemsma and Smith this season than $23M for McGee for the next 2 years or $19M for Thompson the next three years. 

BrandonVance
BrandonVance

I think he means wilson chandler not tyson

Ludiculous48
Ludiculous48

@Papa Pelican yeah Pierre might be King Chucker, or at least Prince or Duke Chucker I think its kinda hard to beat Nick Young. 

isthisyourhomeworklawrence
isthisyourhomeworklawrence

@kfte Just cause we're 0-7 against those teams doesn't mean we weren't competitive. Those losses against the Suns came when Jrue Holiday was still trying to find his way in the system. He's undeniably a different player now. The loses to Dallas and GSW were easily winnable if we make one or two plays, and even that OKC loss was competitive in the 1st half (which is a lot more than I can say for any of last year's games). The only terrible loss was to SA in SA. Don't think you're giving this squad enough credit. 

Ludiculous48
Ludiculous48

@thouse he may not be a lock down defender in the paint but he would definitely be an upgrade over Jason Smith and Ryan Anderson. And he also has a pretty solid post game. So as long as we don't give up to much for him. He would be a good addition. 

thouse
thouse

@bucklezzzman  I don't get this "you're thinking too much production-wise" How is production different from impact?

McGee and Thompson do not make the front court any better defensively. They are better rebounders, but marginally so. Davis comes back, things will look better for this team.

Trading for bloated assets because the franchise is out for a month is silly.

bucklezzzman
bucklezzzman

I agree with you a little bit but you're thinking too much production-wise with your player comparisons. Think skillset & impact instead.. the comparison doesn't come close in that regard