Pelicans Could Pursue Intriguing Trade For Cavaliers’ Center

Jarrett Allen, Pelicans
NBA Analysis Network

The 2023-24 NBA season is a big one for the New Orleans Pelicans. This is Year 3 for Willie Green as head coach and he needs some positive results to ensure that he will be in that position for years to come.

Coming off a 42-win season, the pressure is on in New Orleans to take that next step. The franchise hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2017-18 campaign as the Zion Williamson era has not been as fruitful as hoped.

A big reason for that is the inability for their key players to remain on the court together. Their Big 3 of Williamson, Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum have played in 10 games together for a total of 172 minutes. That certainly isn’t going to cut it, but their hot start this season is a reason for optimism.

When Williamson can stay on the court, the Pelicans are a very dangerous team. They were near the top of the Western Conference last season as well before Williamson went down with an injury and eventually missed the entire season.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

With the front office likely feeling some pressure to see results this season, they could look to get aggressive on the trade market. One player who would be an ideal target for them, in the opinion of Zach Buckley from Bleacher Report, is Jarrett Allen of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

What could a deal between the teams look like? Buckley suggested Allen heads to New Orleans in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Jose Alvarado and a 2027 first-round pick that is top-five protected.

The Cavaliers have given no indication they want to move on from Allen, but for the betterment of their future, it is something they should consider. Their two-big lineup got destroyed by the New York Knicks in last season’s playoff matchup and may not be a sustainable lineup alignment.

Valanciunas will at least provide the Cavaliers with a big man teams have to pay some mind to on the perimeter as a 35.7 percent 3-point shooter in his career. In the last three seasons, his volume has increased as last season was the first time he made at least 1.0 per game.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Moving on from Allen would also enable the Cavaliers to open up their version of death lineups using Evan Mobley as the sole big man. Surrounding him with shooters would make for a deadly lineup combination. Alvarado also fills a major need off the bench behind Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell as a capable ball-handler.

For the Pelicans, this would be a semi-all-in move. He is a great finisher as the rolling player in pick-and-rolls and is an excellent offensive rebounder. Most importantly, Allen raises the ceiling of the team with his defensive prowess as an anchor in the paint.

The Pelicans have started the season out hot on that end of the court, but that isn’t where their strength lies. Solidifying it with a player of Allen’s caliber would help keep from the bottom falling out at any point this season.

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About Kenneth Teape 3826 Articles
Kenneth Teape is an NBA Reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He covers all things across the league, including both news and editorial work. Make sure to follow Kenneth on Twitter at @teapester725.