Trading for Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson
There are a lot of challenges for the Detroit Pistons if they had any interest in trading for one of the Pelicans’ stars. The first is that Detroit may not even have the necessary assets to do it, as they currently have only their young core, some expiring contracts and no extra first-round picks.
One of Jaden Ivey or Jalen Duren would have to be involved and the Pelicans may not have any interest in either of those guys, though the loss of CJ McCollum may make getting another guard a priority. Pairing Jaden Ivey with rookie Jordan Hawkins may have some appeal, though neither of them are a true point guard.
Even if the Pistons could scrape together the right trade package, they’d have to think twice, as both Zion and Ingram have been injured a ton in their careers, a problem Detroit is already facing. Trading for an injury-prone player always comes with some amount of risk.
But the reward would potentially be getting a young star who would be a great fit with Cade Cunningham, particularly in the case of Zion Williamson. He and Cade would be a formidable duo in the pick-and-roll and Ausar Thompson can cover some of Zion’s defensive efficiencies.
Ingram would also be a solid fit at the four and would take a whole lot of pressure off Cade Cunningham. His fit isn’t quite as good, as he too likes to work in the mid-range, but both are adaptable, versatile players who want to win and would find a way to make it work.
With few realistic free-agent options lurking in the future, Troy Weaver may have to find talent via trade and the Pelicans are definitely a team to monitor as the season progresses.