Pelicans Trade Proposal Lands $40.2M Center From Wizards

Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards, NBA Trade Rumors
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Rebuilding NBA teams will typically prioritize younger players. They’re focused on the future. These teams let their young players take the reigns. They’ll live with negative short-term results if it yields long-term gains. 

Yet, there’s some debate over who qualifies as a “young player. A 25-year-old is a young man by any social standard. A man that age has his whole life ahead of him. Yet, in the NBA, a 25-year-old isn’t necessarily a spring chicken. 

The Washington Wizards need to decide what their definition of “young” is. If it’s under 25, they may want to consider moving Daniel Gafford. Could they send the 25-year-old to the New Orleans Pelicans? 

NBA Trade Proposal 

Washington Wizards Receive: C Jonas Valanciunas, C Cody Zeller, 2025 First-Round Pick (Lottery Protected – NOP) 

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: C Daniel Gafford, G Delon Wright 

When we talk about young teams, it often lends itself to the discussion of which team has the best young core. Yet, with the definition of “young” on NBA standards being ambiguous, those discussions can get murky. Do the Pelicans quality? 

Zion Williamson is 23. Brandon Ingram is 26. Otherwise, this team is lined with quality young players. Trey Murphy III is likely a core piece – what about Dyson Daniels? What about Herbert Jones? Are these core players for the win-now Pelicans or potential trade fodder? 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

One thing is clear: the Pelicans don’t belong in the same conversation as the Orlando Magic or the Oklahoma City Thunder. With that said, neither do the Washington Wizards. In the infancy stages of their rebuild, only Bilal Couliaby is untouchable. Should they trade Gafford? 

Why The Washington Wizards Do The Deal 

There’s a reason for the debate over who qualifies as young. The difference between a 19-year-old and a 25-year-old in the NBA is more vast than that difference in real life. With that in mind, Coulibaly is just 19 years old. 

By the time he’s ready to contribute to winning, Gafford will have aged. AN NBA team needs to manage their timeline. That’s part of what the Wizards are doing here. Valanciunas is on an expiring contract – they’ll either buy him out or sit him for the remainder of the season. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Otherwise, they’re flipping Gafford and Wright for a lottery-protected first. They’re both role players – that’s likely their market value. Should the Pelicans pay that price for them? 

Why The New Orleans Pelicans Do The Deal 

The Pelicans – if you’ll pardon the pun – are killing two birds with one stone here. It’s long been rumored that this team would like to replace Valanciunas with a more solid defensive big. Gafford qualifies – he’s a vastly superior rim protector. 

At the same time, the Pelicans could use a point guard. Wright is no All-Star, but he brings a lot to the table. His plus positional size makes him a sturdy defender, and Wright takes good care of the ball on the other end of the floor. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

The Pelicans may not need much more than that. Williamson, Ingram, and CJ McCollum take on the bulk of the offensive responsibility for this team. The Pelicans are ready to make a deep playoff run – whether they’re young or not. 

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