- Here's a list of the biggest New Orleans Pelicans trades in franchise history.
- Jrue Holiday leads the list of players New Orleans received through trade.
- Other notable players the Pelicans acquired were DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum.
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the newest teams in the NBA, as they joined the league in 2002 as an expansion team. Since then, they have established themselves as an emerging and growing franchise in the stacked Western Conference. Their popularity skyrocketed when they famously drafted Zion Williamson, one of the most hyped NBA rookies of all time, in 2019 as their number one overall pick.
Before selecting Williamson, they picked Anthony Davis in 2012 as the top overall pick in the 2012 draft. Despite selecting these top talents in the draft, the Pelicans’ basketball odds of winning a title weren’t enough, despite pulling off massive trades with other teams to bring in other stars. Here’s a list of New Orleans’ top-four biggest trades in team history.
Before Jrue Holiday became part of the Milwaukee Bucks’ biggest trades in 2020, he was first a member of the Pelicans’ list of significant acquisitions. In 2013, New Orleans agreed to trade their number six overall pick Nerlens Noel, a future first-round pick for Holiday and a second-round pick. The trade started Philadelphia’s rebuild and a new era for the Pelicans.
Holiday was the first legitimate playmaker of the team since Chris Paul’s departure in 2011, and he formed a great duo with Davis. The 6-foot-5 point guard helped New Orleans qualify for the postseason in 2015 and 2018, but they only managed to reach the second round. In 415 games, Holiday averaged 17.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.2 rebounds across seven seasons.
At the trade deadline of 2017, New Orleans brought in another big man, DeMarcus Cousins, from the Sacramento Kings to create a dynamic duo in the frontcourt with Anthony Davis. The deal also saw the Pelicans acquire Omri Casspi while sending Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick.
“Boogie’s” time with New Orleans was cut short because of his devastating ACL injury in February 2018.. His Pelicans stint saw Cousins rack up a double-double average of 25.0 points and 12.7 rebounds with 5.0 assists in 65 games. He was also named an All-Star in 2018 but couldn’t suit up due to the aforementioned injury before the All-Star Game.
When Anthony Davis grew frustrated with the Pelicans in 2019, he requested a trade, and New Orleans leveraged his value by acquiring a haul of players in a big-time trade with the Lakers. In exchange for their superstar power forward, the Pelicans received Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks.
The Pelicans have agreed to a deal to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
It was a win-win for both teams, as the Lakers gained another superstar that LeBron James needed, and the Pelicans secured important players for their young core. Among those players, Ingram became the team’s main star. In his four seasons with the franchise, “B.I.” produced 23.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 223 games, helping the team qualify for the playoffs in 2022, their first since 2018.
The most recent massive trade that the New Orleans Pelicans were involved in was the acquisition of C.J. McCollum from Portland in February 2022. New Orleans shipped Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks for McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 9, 2022
This move signified an urgency for the franchise to contend in the league, as they added another terrific player to add to the duo of Ingram and Williamson. Sadly, it hasn’t translated well for them, as they missed the 2023 playoffs. McCollum’s numbers for the Pelicans in 101 games were 21.8 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds.
4 Biggest New Orleans Pelicans Trades
|Pelicans received: Jrue Holiday and a second-round pick / Sixers received: Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick
|Pelicans received: DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi / Kings received: Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick
|Pelicans received: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks / Lakers received: Anthony Davis
|Pelicans received: CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell / Trail Blazers received: Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks
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