Considering Trading For Bledsoe

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Published: October 23, 2017

If Bledsoe is truly available and is open to coming to the New Orleans Pelicans, they can not play meek and hedge their bets, not in an NBA where stars are attracting stars and they are in a favorable initial position. Bledsoe may not be an ideal fit, but the Pelicans may be in a situation where they have to stay “in the game” by hoarding stars, then try to work with that as best as possible until something clicks or a “fit trade” can be worked out with another multi-star team.

There are risks in making a trade, but there are risks in not. It is comparing those risks that is key. Ultimately, you are trying to keep Davis, but first you have to keep Cousins. Bledsoe’s wishes may shrink his market, as will simple cap math. So, the price may not be so high… see: trades for stars and superstars this past year.

I think the Pelicans would be well-served to try to acquire Bledsoe. To get him I would put everything on the table management would let me put. This would not include Davis, Cousins, or Holiday. This would include every other player, including Jackson (who can be traded now) and Diallo. I would put every dollar of cash, any draft rights, any picks or pick swaps, eating bad contracts. Look at it all and determine the best package up front, which sort of “pick two of these” kinds of options you’ll give them, etc. The manner in which you bid depends on the way the decision is made, and you don’t always try to bid the market value, especially when you private values and other team-specific considerations.

That said, the Suns may not be looking to deal him today or tomorrow. A team firing their coach is trying to send a message. Doing so, if anything, depresses trade value for a star… do it in the other order if you want to trade. It still may come to that. Also, since the Suns are better off waiting for more teams to have more tradeable assets, you are competing with those possible offers when you bid, not just offers on the table.

As such, I would expect the Pelicans to start firming up their offers and coordinated moves. In the end, I expect Bledsoe to actually command less than the full war chest and less than all but recent history says a star will require in trade. Whether or not they land Bledsoe, I expect the Pelicans to try to do what they were going to do, which is try to win and prove they are destination. At most, I expect little moves to get some flexibility. Like we have seen before . . . trade to set up the trade.

So as not to shy away from the question, here is my offer: Moore, Ajinca, and three of the following: Jackson, Diallo, 2018 pick, 2019 Swap Rights. I bet it is richer than many would offer. I see this as getting Bledsoe, increasing the chances Cousins stays, and given Davis one more reason to stay while taking one more star off the table for some other “super team” to grab Davis. So, I’ll pay, and I’ll ensure I’m horrible immediately if this doesn’t pan out while having one more piece to swap on the backside for a pick.

Lastly, I invite you ponder the Kentucky-ness and just what that could entail in things didn’t quite work but didn’t quite fail.

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