The New Orleans Pelicans have a gaping hole on their roster currently on the wing as a team that was already thin at the shooting guard and small forward position became even thinner with the hamstring injury to Solomon Hill that will keep him out much of the season.
With the acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins now on the final year of his contract and the clock ticking for the franchise to turn it around and appease Anthony Davis, it is now or never for the Pelicans to amass enough talent for a postseason run in 2017-18.
That is why they are in desperate need of a wing player with NBA experience and an ability to step in right away and play 30 minutes per night.
There is one guy who can fit that bill and is clearly on the trade block in Cleveland: Iman Shumpert.
According to Basketball Insiders Writer Steve Kyler, the Pelicans are interested in acquiring Shumpert from Cleveland if a deal can be worked out.
“A source told Basketball Insiders last week that the Pelicans were among the teams interested in Cleveland Cavaliers forward Iman Shumpert. Since acquiring Jae Crowder from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade, many speculated that Shumpert could be expendable.”
This makes a lot of sense for New Orleans but there is one major issue, making a deal won’t be easy.
Shumpert is do to make more than $21 million over the next two seasons ($10.3 million this season) which means the only real possibilities for a trade to make the salaries work would be Omer Asik, who no NBA team wants to pay $33 million to over the next three seasons without some sweetners and E’Twaun Moore, which doesn’t make too much sense as he would not likely interest the Cavs and would be trading one of the few wing players they do have in order to attain Shumpert.
Ultimately the Pelicans will likely have to sign a player like Matt Barnes (isn’t he like 45 by now?) or Shabazz Muhammad to fill their vacancy on the wing.