As Trade Deadline Passes, Pelicans Stand Pat


The NBA Trade Deadline has annually been an important date for the NBA season. It is, for the most part, the final opportunity teams have to prepare themselves for whatever awaits them at season’s end, whether it be the pursuit of a championship, a marquee free agent, or a top three draft pick. That much has not changed.

What has changed, thanks in large part to the rapid rise of social media over the last couple of years, is how it is covered. The deadline and the days leading up to it are no longer time for players to relax and executives to negotiate:

It has become a full-blown national spectacle.

Hundreds of reporters from all across the country are simultaneously trying to break any semblance of news leaking from teams and millions of fans are itching to get that information as fast as possible. It is chaotic, sometimes overwhelming, but quite frankly, pretty awesome.

I have been looking forward to this day like any other holiday. I love being caught off guard by a big move:

seeing something happen right at the buzzer:

heck, I would have happily enjoyed reading a couple of “WojBombs” under a tree!

More than anything today, I was waiting to see what the Pelicans would do with their assets, specifically Ryan Anderson. Though Eric Gordon’s contract is also expiring, Anderson, who has been in trade rumors for essentially his entire tenure in New Orleans, was the subject of many conversations and speculations. The Raptors, Cavaliers, Wizards, Magic and Bucks were just a handful of teams who the Pelicans were reportedly trying to strike a deal with.

And judging by the scene at the Pelicans practice today, an effort was surely being made by General Manager Dell Demps and company:

But, despite the dramatic turning of the blinds, 3 pm EST arrived, and the Pelicans roster remained intact. In the end, Demps could not get anyone to bite.

Frustration from fans is understandable: how could a 20-33 team with seemingly valuable assets not get anything done?

I admit, I am shocked that Anderson is still a member of the team. I was preparing to root hard for him on whatever contender wanted to take him. But I am not upset.

It’s impossible for me to know what exactly Dell Demps was offering and being offered. There are people who wanted to get anything back for Ryno’s expiring, especially since it has been reported he will not be returning to New Orleans, and I totally understand that.

Jan 30, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA;New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) reacts during the second half of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans won 105-103. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

But keeping Anderson is not the worst thing in the world. For 29 more games, Pels fans will get to root for a productive and popular player, and the locker room will remain stable.

Sure, the team’s playoff hopes have all but evaporated, but why not give it a shot if none of the offers pushed the needle in either direction?

A couple of second round draft picks and a middling rotation player could have netted some future value or some extra lottery balls, but ultimately Dell Demps did not feel it was worth it.

It may seem like getting no return is the worst case scenario, and it could be true for the present. If you feel that way, are not alone:

Nate Duncan of The Cauldron is not wrong: considering what the Pelicans could have done, they are probably the losers of today. But who is to say that teams who did manage to make a splash won’t be worse for wear in a couple of weeks?

For instance, the Wizards took a chance on Markieff Morris, the troubled forward of the Phoenix Suns. While he has talent and potential to help turn Washington’s season around, he could just as easily add more fuel to the fire with his explosive personality.

Would getting Morris, or a player like Morris, back for Anderson worth risking the well-being of the locker room chemistry in an essentially already lost season? I can see the argument for yes, but I would firmly say no.

I’ll admit, there will be a feeling of emptiness if Anderson does end up leaving without the Pelicans getting any sort of return, but it is what it is. I may be in the minority, but if Dell Demps did not think he was getting a fair deal, I trust him.

For better or for worse, the Pelicans team that started this season will end it. The best thing we can do now is just enjoy the ride……..